Bata Takes on Bulacan’s Geronimo in Villar Cup Challenge Match

Geronimo hopes to beat Reyes again, this time in front of his fellow Bulakenos

Former world champion Efren “Bata” Reyes will put his legendary status on the line when he faces one of Philippine billiards' rising stars in Egie “Marilao” Geronimo in a challenge match serving as one of the highlights of the First Senate President Manny Villar Cup Bulacan Leg, which fires off tomorrow at the Events Center of SM City in Marilao, Bulacan.

The match is slated on Sunday, right after the finals of this third leg of the island-hopping series presented by Villards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine Sports and sponsored by Camella Communities.

Geronimo, arguably the best cue artist to come out from the bustling city of Marilao and one of the best Bulakeño to play the game, will try to prove before his hometown that his upset victory over Reyes in their last encounter was a no fluke.

The 30-year-old recruit of the star-studded Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano shocked the billiards world when he humiliated Reyes, the sport's icon, with a stunning 9-1 victory in last month's Cebu Leg of Villar Cup, organized by the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) and supported by Puyat Sports, Bugsy Promotions, Negros Billiards Stable and ER Cues.

Both Reyes and Geronimo are in the 32-man field competing for the prestigious Villar Cup, which offers a total pot of P800,000.

Mixing up with them are defending Villar Cup titlist Gandy Valle, former world champion Ronnie Alcano, former world no.1 Francisco “Django” Bustamante, 2007 World Pool runner-up Roberto Gomez, reigning national champion Lee Van Corteza and Villar Cup Alabang leg winner Warren Kiamco.

Also vying for the P300,000 top purse are Carlo Biado, Russian Petiza, Jharome Pena, Ramil Gallego, William Millares, Johann “Bubwit” Chua, William Chua, Godofredo Ducanes, Rodolfo Luat, Benjie Guevarra, Jundel Mazon, Panfilo Damuag, Mike Takayama, Jomar de Ocampo, Rubilen Amit, Elmer Haya, Ricky Zerna, Joey Pardales, Dondon Razalan, Michael Feliciano, Richard Pornelosa, Mark Mendoza, Romar Villones and Kuwait's national team mainstay Abdulah al Yousef.

Meanwhile, former two-time world juniors' campaigner Rene Mar David and Kyoto 9-Ball open champ Dondon Razalan blasted their respective foes yesterday to barge into the Last 16 of the ongoing Sipag at Tiyaga division being held at the AMF-Puyat Center in StarMall EDSA.

The 18-year-old David notched his third straight win by trouncing Mika Fillorina, 7-3. He had earlier waylaid Abdulah Hilali of Qatar , 7-3, and Jep Palencia, 7-6, Razalan, on the other hand, subdued Al Yousef, 7-1, to likewise inch closer to the crown and the P70,000 that goes with it.

A total of 120 players from all over the country entered in this competition, which will have its championship match on Sunday also in SM City Marilao.