Pro Billiards League Ready to Break

Alex Pagulayan

The long-dreamed of pro billiards league is ready to break giving the sport another major boost in 2009.
Preparations for the inaugural season of the National Billiards League early this year are now in their final stage and both players and managers as well as billiards fans are excited about the prospect.  
Passionate pool enthusiast and co-founder of the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) Perry Mariano said “We are all excited. The players, the managers, and the rest of the billiards community are all ecstatic to see the birth of the league that would elevate the sport of billiards to new heights.”
Mariano who heads the star-studded Bugsy Promotions added, “As I've been saying before, the NBL would be the next big thing in Philippine sports entertainment, and it will start the new era of Philippine billiards.”
The concept was developed years ago when Puyat Sports in cooperation with its longtime television partner Viva Vintage Sports staged a number of major local and international events in the country at the time the premier TV sports organization was also covering the PBA games.
Patterned after the pro- league, the NBL will be bannered by the country's biggest names in pool including “The Magician” Efren “Bata” Reyes, pool legend Francisco “Django” Bustamante, former world champions Ronnie Alcano and Alex Pagulayan and current world no.1 Dennis Orcollo, along with a bunch of up and coming stars playing for corporate teams in a season-long team competition.
The NBL will have Solar Sports which also now covers the PB as its broadcast partner.
For its inaugural season, the NBL will have eight teams of six players each mixing up in singles, doubles, team, and trick shot competitions.
The league will have its home in the AMF-Puyat Bowling Inn and Billiards Center in Malate, Manila, which is undergoing a P2.5-million renovation to make it a state-of-the-art venue for the world's first season-long professional league.

The venue is located along Taft Avenue , between Quirino and Remedios, Bowling Inn, as it is popularly known and will have what could be regarded as an astonishing and lively set-up. The organizers of the league want it to be more than just a plain billiards competition but one that also provides fascinating entertainment.

The acknowledged godfather of Philippine pool  Aristeo “Putch” Puyat said “We may have failed to meet our initial target date to start it because we want to make sure that we'll cover all the bases before we launch it. But there's really no turning back.”
The NBL is  now nearing realization due largely to the support of fellow billiards patrons Mariano and Jonathan Sy of the Negros Billiards Stable and the rest of the BMPAP members.