‘Bata’, Chao Face Off Today

Fong Pang Chao

Efren “Bata” Reyes and Fong Pang Chao rekindle their rivalry as the two Asian pool legends collide in a marathon challenge match in “Face Off Series 2 – The Grandmasters” that starts today at the posh Club Capo Exclusive in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

The match, a race-to-50 nine-ball affair, is set to give Philippine billiards another milestone as the first to be aired on pay-per-view thru www.clubcapo.tv.

The PPV price is pegged at $19.99 for the two-day event that will run from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. (Manila time) on both days.

“It's nice to be playing again with one of my contemporaries, and I'm kind of intrigue on how he (Chao) plays now as we haven't seen him in the tournament circuit for a long time,” said Reyes, who has been on a hot streak, winning three major tournaments, including the World Cup of Pool with bosom buddy Francisco “Django” Bustamante.

The Face Off Series 3 is presented by Club Capo in cooperation with Bugsy Promotions and JBET.net, and supported by Nuvo City , Outlast Battery, Puyat Sports and Negros Billiards Stable with the Philippine Star as the official media partner.

Besides the World Cup of Pool, Reyes also won the Kadayawan leg of The Manny Villar Cup and the Galveston Classic One Pocket tournament in Texas , making him the slight favorite to win this duel that offers a $10,000 top purse.

“I feel honored to be invited to play against the best billiards player in the world and I promise to play my best,” said Chao, who had been a mystery since he migrated to China a couple of years ago.

The Taiwanese star, who was last seen during the 2007 World Pool Championship, also has an oozing credential like Reyes. He is a two-time World 9-Ball champion and had been winning tournament after tournament during his prime.

The Reyes-Chao match is part of a series of challenge matches Club Capo is putting up.

The exclusive membership club is planning to pit eight to other pairs of world-class cue artists each year.

It has also lined up a match pitting former double world champions Ronnie Alcano and Ralf Souquet of Germany .

The second edition of The Philippines versus the World will be part of the Face-Off Series.

Club Capo Exclusive is also eyeing a match between Francisco “Django” Bustamante against American Rodney Morris and Lee Van Corteza opposite Shane Van Boening in November.

Other planned matches include a rematch between 2007 World Pool Championship finalists Roberto Gomez and Daryl Peach of England; Alcano versus fellow former world champion Chia-Ching Wu of Singapore; a scotch doubles match featuring the tandem of Efren “Bata” Reyes and Bustamante against the duo of Orcollo and Alcano, as well as the pair of Bustamante and Gomez versus Johnny Archer and Van Boening, and Alcano-Johann Chua opposite Yang-Pin-Yi Ko ; and a duel between Reyes and Archer.