Alcano Shows Mastery Over Reyes

Ronnie Alcano

Ronnie Alcano maintained his mastery over Efren “Bata” Reyes – at least in tournament play – as the challenger overcame the legend, 9-4, in their one-on-one 15-ball rotation match dubbed as the VILLARDS “Challenge of the Legend: The Maestro versus The Volcano”  Friday at the jam-packed Skydome of SM North Edsa in Quezon City .
Alcano took advantage of Reyes's lackluster performance to pull away midway of the match to secure the win and the unofficial title of rotation king in the country – or perhaps the world.
Alcano said “I'm proud to have beaten my idol, especially in his game.” The 37 year old pocketed the P150,000 top prize at stake in the event presented by Senator Manny Villar's Villards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine Sports and, in cooperation with the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines and Bugsy Promotions.
It was the first time Alcano and Reyes, who share the distinction as two of only four players to win both world 9-ball and world 8-ball titles, met in a tournament atmosphere since the Alcano eliminated Reyes in the last 16 of the 2006 World Pool Championship which Alcano won in an amazing run defeating European ace Ralf Souquet in the finals.
Reyes, looking to avenge that defeat got off to a good start, winning the lag and running out the opening rack – an unusual occurrence in rotation.  But Alcano immediately countered by outwitting Reyes in the second frame, and then followed it up by claiming the next three to go up 4-1.
Reyes managed to get close to within one, 5-4, but the man also known as “The Magician” lost steam as his age compared o the younger Alcano began to tell as the Calamba, Laguna pool superstar raced through the next four racks to close out the match and celebrate the feat witnessed by some one thousand adoring fans, including Senator Manny Villar, the foremost patron of Philippine billiards.
“I still consider him as the best player in the world.There's no one, who can match the champ.”said Alcano, adding that “all of us players consider it a big honor if we can play him and beat him but we know we cannot equal his achievements..”
Reyes humbly accepted the defeat and hailed Alcano as one of the best pool players in the world today.  Reyes said “he is really good. We can call him Champ because he is a double world champion and I think he will win many more titles.”
Sharing the limelight with Alcano were reigning Japan Open champion Ramil Gallego and former Asian Games gold medalist Antonio Lining, who won the Scotch Doubles All-Star Challenge, as well as rising-star Carlo Biado who ruled the Sipag at Tiyaga-Search for the New Billiards Idol Special Edition, which served as the undercard of this two-day event sponsored by Camella Communities and supported by ABS-CBN, the Philippine Star, Yamaha, Tanduay and the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines.