BMPAP holds first meeting

The who's who in Philippine billiard's gathered yesterday to celebrate the founding of the Billiard Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP), an organization formed to address the needs and protect the interest of the sport, particularly that of the players.

In this unprecedented assembly, the BMPAP has vowed to come up with a genuine program that will further lift, or at least maintain the countries tag as the billiard's epicenter of the world.

“This is for the players, and we are all here gathered for them,” said sportsman Aristeo “Putch” Puyat, during a press conference at the Annabel's restaurant in Quezon City.

In a riveting show of solidarity, players, managers and other stakeholders of the popular sport gathered to support the BMPAP, which is the first bonafide professional billiards organization in the Philippines.

The BMPAP will have sportsman Isaac Belmonte, son of Quezon City Mayor Sonny Belmonte, as its chairman with the rest of the officers to be chosen in an election slated in the coming days. He was represented by QC councilor Ariel Inton/

But the BMPAP clarified that the group is not out to supplant the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP) as the billiards governing national sport association (NSA).

Puyat stressed that the BMPAP is more than willing to lend its top players to the national team, particularly for the Southeast Asian Games and Asian Games to represent the country.

“But unlike the previous practice, where there is a ‘palakasan system' the BMPAP has set a condition that it will be the one to determine who send, and we'll do in a manner fair to all—through qualifying games,” Puyat said.

The BMPAP also came up with a manifesto that condemns the present leadership of the BSCP for its lack of transparency and its dictator-like running of the association.

In particular, the BMPAP cited the much-publicized case of former World Pool champion Alex Pagulayan, who cried foul after he was unceremoniously removed as one of the country's representative in the 2007 Guinness 9-Ball Tour Singapore Leg.

Pagulayan was found guilty by the BSCP of misconduct and sharking of an opponent during the previous leg of the tour without allowing him to present his side.

The 2005 SEA Games quadruple gold medalist, who is currently campaigning in the United States, sent his support to the BMPAP, according to Puyat.

“They, the players, are the very essence of any sport, that's why it is their interest and not of anybody else, which should be prioritized for without them, any manager, promoter and even organization would be meaningless,” added businessman Perry Mariano, one of the BMPAP's prime movers.

Among those who attended the event were players from three of the country's biggest stables –Negros Billiards Stable, Puyat Sports and Bugsy Promotions – led by their managers Jonathan Sy, Puyat and Mariano, respectively.

Puyat, whose name has been synonymous to the billiards most celebrated names like Efren “Bata” Reyes, Pagulayan and Francisco “Django” Bustamante.

Sy, on the other hand, manages reigning national champion Lee Van Corteza and veteran internationalist Rodolfo Luat.

The Bugsy boys include former double world champion Ronnie Alcano, 2007 World Pool Championship (WPC) runner-up Roberto Gomez, Doha Asian Games gold medalist Antonio “Gaga” Gabica and silver medal winner Jeff De Luna, former World Pool League titlist Dennis Orcollo and Bangkok Asian Games gold medalist Gandy Valle.

Also present in the gathering were Atty. Vic Rodriguez, Edwin Reyes and other independent players and managers, as well as representatives of San Miguel Corporations.