BATA REYES IN VILLAR CUP BACOLOD LEG SEMIS
BACOLOD CITY, NOVEMBER 17, 2008 (TRIBUNE) Efren “Bata” Reyes pocketed eight consecutive racks to overcome another so-so start, beating fellow former world champion Kunihiko Takahashi of Japan, 11-4, and barge into the Final Four of the First Senate President Manny Villar Cup Bacolod leg being held at the Garden Royal Function Hall of Goldenfields Commercial Complex here.
Playing before a huge Bacoleno crowd obviously rooting for him, the 54-year-old pool maestro had an uncharacteristically erratic start, missing three relatively easy shots that allowed Takahashi, the 1998 world 9-ball champion, to take post 4-3 lead.
Reyes turned to his old tricks to tie the match and ignite an exhilarating stretch of break and run-outs en route to his third straight victory in this fifth stop of the prestigious island-hopping series presented by Villards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine sports.
That put Reyes to within two wins of putting another feather for his legendary cap. The champion here stands to receive $15,000. The four-day tournament is organized by the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines in cooperation with the city government of Bacolod led by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and the Negros Billiards Stable (NBS) of businessman Jonathan Sy and sponsored by Camella Communities.
The next stumbling block for him to hurdle is hometown idol Ramil Gallego, who dismissed Joven Bustamante, 11-7, in their quarterfinals encounter.
The other semifinals match pits resurging veteran internationalist Rodolfo Luat against unheralded Michael Feliciano.
Luat, 50, showed he is still a force to reckon with as he subdued Cebu leg titlist Gandy Valle, 11-7, for his third straight win following his triumphs over former Asian Games gold medalist Antonio Lining and two-time world champion Ronnie Alcano.
The 24-year-old Feliciano, a member of the star-studded Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano, made it by humiliating fellow qualifier Ronnie Aying, 11-1, in a match he opened with an amazing seven consecutive break and run-outs.
Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi
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