2006 BSCP National Pool Championship Gets Underway

THE 2006 National Pool Championship gets underway on Aug. 15 to 20 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila, Philippines which is announced yesterday by Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) chairman and Raya Sports president Yen Macabenta.

There will be two registration centers for the P2.2-million blue-ribbon 9-ball competition jointly organized BSCP and Raya Sports.

Interested players can register with national pool coach Ramon Ancaja at the Rizal Memorial Billiards Center on the third floor of the Philippine Center for Sports Medicine across the Century Park Sheraton Hotel in Vito Cruz, Manila.

They can also sign up at the Raya Sports office on the fifth floor of the PDAF building on Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City near the Buendia MRT station. Mr. Sol Gueco is in charge of registration.

The tournament entry fee is pegged at P3,000 for the event which offers three major rewards to top performers:

Four slots in the 2006 World Pool Championship slated in November at the Philippine International Convention Center; A top prize of P1 million to the first-place winner; and The honor of being declared the first BSCP national pool champion.

"We are opening registration early because we expect keen competition for berths in the national tournament," BSCP chairman Yen Makabenta said.

"There are only 64 slots in the tournament proper, but there will be scores of players seeking to join the tournament from all over the country."

To accommodate entrants from all levels and all regions, the tournament organizers will conduct a qualifying tournament on August 12 and 13 among unranked players. At least 12 slots will be up for grabs in the qualifiers.

Among the ranked players who will earn outright berths in the NPC are Filipino legendary Efren "Bata" Reyes and Francisco "Django" Bustamente, protegee of RP billiards patron Aristeo "Putch" Puyat, recent SMB Asian tour winner Ramil "Bebeng" Gallego, and 2006 Reno Open and Hard Times Billiards champion Dennis "Surigao" Orcollo, playing under the stable of businessman Perry Mariano.

Also earning outright berths are the members of the national pool team which competed and won in last December's Southeast Asian games. These include 2004 world pool champion Alex Pagulayan, former AZ Billiards Rookie of the Year Ronnie Alcano, Lee Van Corteza, Antonio "Ga-Ga" Gabica, Gandy "Sapsal" Valle among others.