Gallego Replaces Pagulayan; Joins Reyes, Django, Manalo in 2nd Leg of SMB Asian 9-Ball Tour

BACOLOD CITY BET Ramil "Bebeng" Gallego replace former World Pool Champion Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan to join Filipino billiards master Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante and Marlon "Marvellous" Manalo in the second leg of the 2006 San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour slated June 2-4, 2006 in Bangkok, Thailand.

Gallego, winner of two big events in Japan recently, topped the qualifying tournament conducted by the Puyat Sports to earn the slot originally allotted for Pagulayan.

Pagulayan, also the 2005 US Open champion, begged off from the Bangkok meet due to prior commitments.

In the eliminations held at the Bowling Inn along Taft Avenue, Gallego beat Panfilo Damuag, 11-7, to clinch the berth. Among the other noted local cue artists who took part in the event were former AZ Billiards Rookie of the Year Ronnie "Calamba" Alcano, Lee Vann Corteza, Antonio "Ga-Ga" Gabica, Victor Arpilleda, Roberto Gomez and Jeffrey "Jeff Bata" de Luna.

Other cue stars like Gandy "Sapsal" Valle and Dennis "Surigao" Orcollo did not take part as they are currently campaigning in the United States.

"Ramil (Gallego) is a tested campaigner. Together with Efren, Django and Marlon, our chances in the Bangkok stop of the Asian 9-Ball Tour will be boosted," said Aristeo "Putch" Puyat, local billiards chief patron and president of Puyat Sports.

The multi-titled Reyes won the recent Ho Chi Minh City leg via a masterful 11-6 win over China's Li He Wen in the final.

The 51-year-old Reyes, acknowledge 'The Magician' in pool arena because of his acrobatic shot considered the top favorite in the forthcoming leg.

The top 10 finishers after the four-leg Asian Tour will qualify for the World 9-Ball Championship to be held in Manila in November.

After the Bangkok leg, the Asian Tour goes to Kaohsiung, Taiwan on Aug. 4-6 and then to Jakarta, Indonesia for the fourth and final leg on Sept.15-17.