BMPAP to launch a billiards league

Francisco Bustamante is just one of the players involved in the new venture

After realizing the dream of having a genuine organization, Philippine billiards is set to to take another monumental step with the creation of a professional league.

The Philippine Professional Billiards League PPBL will be the first of a kind in the world, and it will provide great opportunities, especially in uplifting the lives of the Filipino cue artists, who are known as the best in the sport.

“This is it,” said Perry Mariano, one of the brain behind the concept. “This will signal the start of a new era in Philippine billiards, one that would benefit, first and foremost, the players.”

“This will make the sport truly a source of pride of the Filipinos.”

One of the major projects lined by the newly-formed and Games and Amusements Board GAB-recognized Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines BMPAP, the PPBL will be a season-long tournament with its format and concept patterned after that of the Philippine Basketball Association PBA.

Mariano, who conceptualized the project along with fellow managers Aristeo “Putch” Puyat and Jonathan Sy, said that they are looking have its pilot season start in the third quarter of this year with 10 corporate teams in the fold.

“With the help of our BMPAP chairman Isaac Belmonte, we're very confident that we could achieve that target. The BMPAP is really dead serious in making sure that the project pushes through this year,” added Mariano.

Players, led by the likes of Efren “Bata” Reyes, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, Ronnie Alcano, Alex Pagulayan, Dennis Orcollo, Roberto Gomez, Lee Van Corteza, Gandy Valle, Joven Bustamante, Warren Kiamco and Ramil Gallego, will be distributed among teams through a draft.

BMPAP spokesman Edwin Reyes said that the initial plan is to have eight players per team.

“So imagine, with 10 teams, there will be 80 players who will have regular income. Moreover, they won't have anymore problem with their participation in other tournaments, especially abroad, as it will be shouldered by their team in exchange for them carrying the name of the company they're playing for,” he said.

“Of course, only the members of the BMPAP will be allowed to play in the league.”