Reyes, Bustamante To Skip Asian Games

Efren Reyes

Efren "Bata" Reyes and Francisco "Django" Bustamante will skip the Asian Games in December.

Reyes who arrived early yesterday on a Philippine Airlines flight told Viva Sports/Manila Standard Today that prior to the "King of the Hill" finals against American ace Mike Sigel last December he signed a contract to defend his title in case won. Reyes won the title and the top prize of $200,000 routing Sigel in straight sets 8-0, 8-5 in a match telecast over RPN 9.

Reyes said the tournament clashes with the Asian Games schedule and since he signed a contract with the IPT Tour which has been good to him as well as all the other Filipino players he could not back out of his commitment.

Reyes said "anyway there are a number of excellent Filipino players many of whom have beaten me and no matter whom we send, we can win."

He said bosom buddy Bustamante was also definitely not competing in the Asian Games but would participate in the "King of the Hill" tournament otherwise he would forfeit his IPT tour card.

Besides, The Standard learned that Bustamante had to take pain-killing injections because of an aching elbow and with the strict laws in force in the Asian Games he may risk being disqualified.

Reyes and Bustamante leave for Jakarta this morning for the final leg of the San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour along with Ramil "Bebeng" Gallego who won the Bangkok leg and Rodolfo "Boy Samson" Luat who stunned the field to win the Taiwan tour stop.

Reyes who won the Jakarta leg last year said he now had to switch back from 8-ball to 9-ball and was hoping that the Filipinos will record a clean sweep although the biggest threats would be the Taiwanese who are bannered by defending Tour champion Ching-Shun Yang and last year's World Pool Champion, teenage sensation Wu Chia Ching. Reyes said he said the Filipinos have "a big chance of winning" and felt that "this time kumpadre Django (Bustamante) should win."

Bustamante played exceptionally well in the World Open 8-Ball until a bad foul call upset him when the score was 6-6 in his match against David Alcaide of Spain after two straight wins in the quarter final round. He lost to Alcaide 6-8 and his game fell apart resulting in his elimination following three straight defeats including a 7-8 heartbreaker against Rodney Morris.

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe