BSCP Responds To Pagulayan’s Allegations

Alex Pagulayan

The Billiards & Snooker Congress of the Philippines has responded to the allegations of 2004 World Pool Champion and former US Open Champion Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan that the organization got back at him and replaced him for the Shanghai leg of the Guinness 9-Ball Tour because he had refused to participate in a local TV pool show claiming the producers were going to make money by using his talent but were not prepared to pay him.

The BSCP stated that Pagulayan was replaced after a review of his conduct during his semi final match against Ibrahim Amir of Malaysia in the Singapore leg last July 15 when Pagulayan lost a close match 11-13 and not for any other reason.

In an official statement sent to Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today which reported the allegations of Pagulayan on AZ Billiards , the BSCP said it found Pagulayan's actuations during the match “unworthy and unacceptable for a representative of a country that is regarded today as ‘the epicenter of pool. His antics amounted to ‘sharking' – the pool term for acts to disrupt and disarm one's opponent in order to win. So gross were his actions that in the end Ibrahim repaid him in kind.”

The BSCP said it believes that Pagulayan's behavior demanded “at the very least that he no longer be sent to the tournament that he had disrespected. His presence in Shanghai would only serve to remind our Asian neighbors of his behavior.” Because of this the BSCP executive committee and the board of directors decided to replace Pagulayan with Jeffrey de Luna who, the BSCP claimed, was a Filipino player “much prized by the tour organizers.”

The BSCP stated that playing in the Guinness Tour “is a privilege not a right” and it was the sports body's policy to “choose players who can do honor for our country and our sport and allocate spots as fairly as possible.” It noted that Pagulayan was accorded the privilege in two of the four legs but both times he failed and it is “doubly unfortunate that he did not play and lose with grace.”

The claim that he was replaced because he refused to play in a TV program was branded as “false” and the supposed meeting and the supposed invitation alluded to by Pagulayan “never took place.” The BSCP conceded that there was an attempt to arrange a meeting with him but Pagulayan said he could not talk until he returned from a tournament in Cebu. The BSCP said it was clear that Pagulayan did not know what they wanted to discuss which included his Singapore behavior and the billiards program among others, adding “we did not hear of his mercenary demands.”

The BSCP branded as “bewildering” Pagulayan's statement about being used to make money off him on the TV show pointing out that in the two BSCP national championships Pagulayan participated in, neither the sports body nor the promoter made money adding that “this charge of exploitation is both absurd and incredibly ungrateful for someone who earned over a million pesos from our billiards program.”

Citing future programs which include the 2007 World Pool Championships, the San Miguel Beer Asia-Pacific 10-Ball Pool Tour, the 2008 WPA World 10-Ball Championship, the Philippine Pool Tour and the Pool Showdown, a reality TV show the statement made it clear that the BSCP and the promoters will not offer money guarantees “to any player no matter how inflated his ego.” It concluded by saying that “it would be unfortunate, given Pagulayan's mercenary demands, if he will miss these major pool events.”

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe