Bata Reyes Pull Off Houdini Act To Beats Chao; Pockets $10,000

Efren Reyes

HALL OF FAMER Efren “Bata” Reyes came through with another Houdini act, dominating the second day to beat the visiting Taiwanese Fong Pang Chao, 50-42, in their epic duel dubbed as Face Off Series 2: The Grandmasters. Reyes received the top prize of $10,000 in the event that was held last Thursday at Club Capo Exclusive in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

Reyes, the representing sportsman/ businessman Aristeo “Putch” Puyat, trailed Chao 25-18 after day one last Wednesday.

“I'll just lucky in the Second Day,” said Reyes, who became the first Filipino World 9-Ball Champion in 1999 in Wales, England and first Filipino World 8-Ball Champion in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates in 2004.

“ That's why I clustered fourteen straight racks,” added the 55-year-old pool icon Reyes, who notched fourteen straight racks to seize the lead at 32-26 count after Chao won the first rack in Day 2.

It was a sweet revenge for the Filipino pool wizards after Dennis “Robocop” Orcollo lost to Taiwanese Ching-Shun Yang, 50-45, last September during the Face Off Series 2-One More Time. Yang pocketed the $10,000 cash purse and kept his bragging rights over the Filipino money-game king. Yang also defeated Orcollo in their first encounter held in Gateway Mall in Cubao three years ago.

In Day One last Wednesday, the two former World 9-ball champions split the first 10 racks, however Chao claimed the next three to go up 8-5. Reyes came back and was able to tie the count at 11-all.

It was a seesaw battle in the next six racks with both players breaking dry, until Chao uncorked a 4-0 blast to take an 18-14 lead.

Reyes stopped the bleeding by pocketing the next two frames, but Chao countered with six straight racks for the biggest lead of the match at 24-16. The Filipino Magician scored two more points before allowing his opponent to close out the opening day of this intriguing match.

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

The exclusive membership club is planning to pit eight 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.