Joven Bustamante Wins Magnificent 7 Opener

Joven Bustamante

Joven Bustamante broke out from a tight start to trounce teenager Marvin Gentapa, 13-4, at the start of the Magnificent 7 Winner-Take-All 9-Ball Invitational second qualifier yesterday at the Bravio Sports and Resto Lounge in Mandaue City.

Bustamate, a stalwart of the star-studded Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano, endured some anxious moments, having to split the first eight racks with Gentapa before pulling through by outwitting the 18-year-old hometown bet.

He ran up the next nine racks to close out the match and get a head start in this three-day tournament organized by Hilton Professional Cues and Bravio Sports and Resto Lounge and supported by the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines with Fundador, Cebu Rajah Hotel, Sunstar, and Monster Radio BT105 as sponsors.

“It was not an easy win at all as (Gentapa) is really tough that I had to play my best,” said the 29-year-old Bustamante.

“It's always nice to win your first game. But this is a long tournament and it will surely gets tougher as we go deep, so I have to keep on improving each game,” he added.

Bustamante was slated to play his second match last night against fellow Bugsy boy and 2007 World Pool runner-up Roberto Gomez.

Gentapa, who made it to the tournament after besting the entire Hilton stable, was playing Mike Hilton at presstime.

Also seeing action in this event, which offers a top purse of P300,000, are first leg winner Gandy Valle, former world champion Alex Pagulayan and another Cebuano bet JJ Kid.

The tournament is the second of a series of winner-take-all competitions leading up to the grand finals slated in December.

It also serves as the preview to the First Senate President Manny Villar Cup Cebu Leg, the biggest pool tournament to be held in the Queen City of the South, on June 20 to 22.