Appleton in Dreamland Ahead of World Pool Masters

Bustamante, Reyes, Appleton and Melling during the Press Conference

DARREN Appleton believes it is ‘a dream come true’ to be playing Filipino legend Efren Reyes in the first World Pool Masters to be staged in the Philippines.
Appleton, a winner of the 2009 Masters in Las Vegas, meets 1999 World Champion Efren Reyes on Sunday in one of the stand-out matches of the opening phase of the Masters.
“I’m very happy to be here and I thank Matchroom Sport for the invite,” said Appleton at a press conference held to launch the Masters and the World Cup of Pool.
“There are 16 top players here so whoever you play will be tough but when I saw the draw I was praying to get Efren and it’s a dream come true to be able to play him in his own country.
“I’m playing the greatest player ever and I’m really excited about it. I have to go against the whole crowd who will be cheering for him but if I play my best then I know I can win.
“I did play in the England World Cup team with Imran Majid against Efren and Francisco Bustamante and got beat 9-1 so I’m hoping to do better than that, but now I don’t have to rely on my partner playing well.
“It’s going to be tough against this home crowd and if you make a mistake they will cheer; it’s just the Filipino way but the foreign players are ready for that.
“It’s a short race so the break will play a big part but the biggest part will be playing under pressure.
“I hope the pressure gets to Efren and there’s a lot of pressure on all the players, whether they’re Filipino or not.
“Matchroom put on the best events in the world and this will be a great event.”
The World Pool Masters will be screened live in the Philippines by Solar Sports and Matchroom Sport will also produce 15 one-hour highlights programmes to be broadcast around the world.
All the action takes place at the SM North City EDSA in Manila and Filipino fans can see nine days of top-class pool action as the World Pool Masters will be held from September 3 to 5 with the World Cup of Pool immediately after, from September 6 to 11.
Filipino Dennis Orcollo is the reigning Masters champion but expects a fight to retain his title and claim the $20,000 winner’s prize.
“I’m really proud that I’m the champion of the tournament but here it will be very tough because there are a whole lot of good players and I will have to be at my best,” said Orcollo, who plays in the tournament opener against Tony Drago at 12pm on Saturday.
For all the latest results, reports and interviews from the Masters and the World Cup, visit the official website