Jakarta Semi-Final Cast Complete

Ching-Shun Yang

Efren "Bata" Reyes is definitely making a habit of staging dramatic come-from-behind victories in Indonesia.

Eight balls away from losing his quarterfinal match to Po-Cheng Kuo, Reyes got an opening at just the right time with a brilliant bank shot, subduing his Chinese-Taipei foe, 9-8, and nailing the final semi-final berth Saturday in the second leg of the San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour held at the Hanggar Billiard and Recreation Center.

With the victory, "The Magician" stayed alive in the $50,000 event and also proved he's an escape artist-thrice over at that, this being his third straight victory in the tournament on the final rack of the race-to-9 matches.

"Every time the score is 8-8 I just pray that I be given another shot," said Reyes, who was also on the ropes before edging Indonesia Robby Suarly, 9-8, in the last match of the second round on Friday--just a few hours after nipping Japan's Kunihiko Takahashi by the same score.

This time, the 50-year old legend led 8-7 but failed to finish Kuo off when his break came up dry in the 16th frame. The Taiwanese eighth seed ran the table to tie the match, but came up empty on a 2-9 combination to the corner pocket that would have ended it.

With no straight shot at the 2-ball, Reyes caromed the cue off the side rail and hit the blue ball, which rattled gently into the corner to practically seal the match.

Reyes' triumph also set up a mouthwatering showdown against 16-year Chia Ching Wu of Chinese Taipei tomorrow morning.

Wu, who settled for runner-up honors during the first leg in Singapore, completely outplayed Wanshana Poomjaeng of Thailand, 9 - 2. The pool prodigy from Taishang County of Taipei started off quickly as he raced of to a 6-0 lead and never looked back.

"You have to be really stable and play good defense against him (Reyes)," revealed Wu about his semi-final foe. "He's really far more experienced than I am so I have to work hard," added Wu.

In contrast, Wu's tormentor in Singapore, Gandy Valle was not a fortunate as the first leg winner was shown the door by Chinese-Taipei's Ching-Shun Yang, 9-6, in the other side of the quarter-final bracket.

It was sweet revenge for Yang as he eliminated the player who beat him during the Singapore leg.

With the match tied at 5-5, Valle muffed a shot on the 5-ball to the corner pocket while using a bridge, the cue ball caroming strangely off the rail instead of running alongside it.

Yang, ranked 38th in the world and the only non-Filipino winner on the 3-year-old Tour so far, then ran out the table for a 6-5 lead. The fifth seed also took three of the next four racks-spiked by a great jump shot on the 7-ball to the corner--for an 8-6 advantage.

The fifth seeded Yang now faces Satoshi Kawabata of Japan--the first player to reach the semi-finals after a gritty 9-8 victory over Singapore's Toh Lian-Han in which he rallied from 1-5 down.