Bata Bows Down to Taiwanese teen sensation in China

THE MAGICIAN Efren "Bata" Reyes of the Philippines suffered defeat at the hands of reigning World 9-ball ruler Wu Chia Ching, 5 - 9, in the Finals of the exhibition leg of the 2006 Asian 9-Ball Tour at the jam-packed Guangdong TV Studio late Sunday evening in Guangzhou, China.

The 2006 San Miguel Vietnam leg champion Reyes, much to the delight of an eager Chinese audience, brought to the table his usual effortless flair of manipulating the white cue while pocketing balls left and right.

However, it was the youngster's day as Wu managed to defeat the magic of Reyes to claim this year's exhibition leg trophy.

Both pool players battled it out against a select cast of Asia's pool elite and ended up breezing through the six-man competition as Reyes conquered China's National Women's Champion Pan Xiao Ting and National team coach, Xu Men, as he posted dual wins over the hometown bets, 7 racks to 5.

Meanwhile, the 17 year old billiard phenom Wu, suffered no resistance from his side of the bracket either; Coming up with an impressive win of 7-3 against 2006 Ho Chi Minh leg runner-up Li He Wen of Hong Kong and a 7-5 clincher over former World Pool runner-up Francisco "Django" Bustamante to complete his rout of the tournament and face the illustrious Reyes in the Finals.

The exhibition leg was a welcome change to the competition format as the players were allowed to polish their skills and play their style of billiards freely without the added pressure of the tournament, serving as an exciting introduction for the Chinese viewers to world class 9-ball competition.

However, the real contest resumes next month when the 2006 San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour continues in Kaohsiung, Taiwan on August 4- 6.

STAR Sports will air highlights of the exhibition tournament on July 23 at 16:00hrs (HK/Singapore time).