Filipino players shoot it out to be crowned next Billiard Idop

Former World Juniors campaigner Mark Mendoza and fellow Negros Billiards Stable stalwart Panfilo Damuag swept their respective opponents to lead two others in moving closer to becoming first winner of the Search for the New Billiards Idol, which unfurled Saturday at the New Farmers Plaza in Cubao, Quezon City.

The two, along with Cris Bombita and Ricky Gamboa, emerged unscathed from a huge field of unheralded cue artist trying to become the next pool sensation in the country. They were playing at presstime yesterday at the Bugsy Lair, also in Quezon City with the winners immediately squaring off for the title and the P20,000 purse that goes with it. The runner-up receives P10,000, while the two losing semifinalist will get P5,000 apiece.

Close to a hundred wannabes entered the opening leg of this twice-a-month event organized by Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano and sponsored by the Association of Club, Karaoke and Disco Operators (ACKDO), Puyat Sports and the Negros Billiards Stable.

“There were even many others who failed to meet the deadline for registration,” said Gandy Valle, the tournament director.

“The is the real Philippine billiards, and all the players are very happy of being given this opportunity to shine, aside from the chance to earn money,” added the former Asian Games gold medalist.

A brief and simple opening ceremony ushered the event with former world champion Alex Pagulayan as the guest of honor.

“It very good to see that there are many tournaments being held here in the Philippines, and those who are benefiting are the players, especially those who have yet to make their names,” said Pagulayan.

Supervised by the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) and sanctioned by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), this yearlong series of tournaments is open to all cue artists except those who are already in the so-called “Class O” or all-star level.

It's second leg will start on Saturday (March 1) also at the New Farmers Plaza with the entry fee still at P200.

For more details, contact Valle at 0916-958-9897 or Jojo Santos at 0915-700-8000.