RP EYES BEST CUE MASTERS FOR SEAG
MANILA, MARCH 3, 2007 (STAR) By Joey Villar - The Philippines will field the best available pool players when Team RP competes against the best in the region in the 24th Southeast Asian Games slated in Bangkok, Thailand in December.
Ernesto Fajardo, who heads the Billiards and Snookers Congress of the Philippines, said they want to enter the finest Filipino players in the biennial 11-nation meet although some of the big names may not be available for the sporting conclave.
"I know everybody wants to play for flag and country, but some of them may not be available so we’re trying to come up with a selection process that should give all of them a chance at making it to the team," said Fajardo.
Fajardo said the second BSCP National Pool Championship set March 26-31 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium will serve as one of the qualifiers for the selection of the members of the Bangkok-bound squad.
"We’ll used the National Open as one of our bases in coming up with the best team possible for Bangkok," Fajardo said.
The BSCP will also give premium to players who performed well in the 2005 Manila SEAG, the 2006 Doha Asian Games and the 2006 World Pool Championship.
That gives Fil-Canadian Alex Pagulayan, Antonio Gabica and Ronnie Alcano an edge over the other aspirants.
Pagulayan snared three gold medals in powering RP to a whopping eight-gold haul in the Manila SEAG while Gabica emerged the best performer in the Doha Games with a gold and a silver medal haul.
Alcano, for his part, ruled the tough World Pool Championship event held in Manila by beating German Ralf Souquet for the crown.
The BSCP also came up with a list ranking the country’s 16 best pool players with Efren "Bata" Reyes emerging atop everyone.
Reyes, who earlier said he wants to represent the country again, is followed by Pagulayan, Dennis Orcollo, Rodolfo "Boy Samson" Luat, Alcano, Francisco "Django" Bustamante, Gabica, Lee Van Corteza, Antonio Lining and Marlon Manalo.
"Of course, they will be strongly considered but again, are they available?" said Fajardo.
A total of 11 slots will be staked in the men’s team alone with 12 gold medals offered in 8-ball, 9-ball and snooker.
The BSCP will also hold a separate National Open for the women cue artists that would also be a part of the selection process.
Rubilen Amit, who bagged two gold medals in Manila, Mary Ann Basa and Iris Ranola are favored to make the national team again.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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