QC INVASION: Morris to captain Team World

Rodney Morris and Mika Immonen with Ariel Inton and BMPAP President Vic Rodriguez

Reigning World Cup of Pool titleholder Rodney Morris will captain the selection of topnotch foreign cue artists in their encounter with the cream of Philippine billiards' crop in the much-anticipated Q.C. Invasion: Quezon City-Philippines vs the World Grand VILLARDS Showdown on December 2 to 4 at the Trinoma Mall in Quezon City.

“We based our selection on who has the most number of gray hairs, and I was the easy pick,” quipped the 38-year-old multi-titled American.

But kidding aside, Morris will lead the team that is hell-bent on invading the country tagged as the “epicenter of pool” and tarnish the Filipinos reputation as the best billiards-playing nation in the world through this event presented by Senator Manny Villar's Villards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine sports, and the Quezon City government led by Mayor Sonny Belmonte and City Council Majority Floor Leader Ariel Inton.

“This is very exciting. We admit that the Philippines are no.1 in terms of having the most number of top-caliber players. But it being the best is an argument that could be settled in this event,” said Morris, who is half-Filipino.

Morris, along with former world champion and newly-crowned US Open and Japan Open champion Mika Immonen of Finland , arrived in the country Tuesday and was welcomed by the officials of the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP), led by its co-founder Perry Mariano, at the Superman Sports Bar in Libis, Quezon City .

Joining Morris and Immonen in the Team World are former world champions Thorsten Hohmann of Germany and Chia-Ching Wu of Chinese-Taipei, 2008 Guinness 9-Ball Tour grand champion Ching-Shun Yang of Chinese-Taipei, Charlie Williams of the United States, Raj Hundal of England and Jianbo Fu of China.

They will go up against the Quezon City-Philippines team bannered by former world champions Efren “Bata” Reyes, Alex Pagulayan and Ronnie Alcano, along with current world no.1 Dennis Orcollo, 2007 World Pool runner-up Roberto Gomez, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, Lee Van Corteza and Warren Kiamco.

The two squads will square off in singles, doubles and team events similar to that of the famed Mosconi Cup with the winning side taking the $40,000 top prize at stake in this event sponsored by Camella Communities and supported by the BMPAP and the Quezon City Tourism Council with Solar Sports, RPN-9, the Philippine Star and BusinessMirror as media partners.

Quezon City plans to make “QC Invasion” a yearly affair as part of its living up to its claim as the sports-tourism capital of the Philippines .