Reyes, Bustamante To Skip National Open

Efren Reyes

Veteran pool superstars Efren "Bata" Reyes and Francisco "Django" Bustamante have indicated that they will regrettably have to skip the BSCP National 9-Ball Championships scheduled from August 15 to 20 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Reyes and Bustamante who just returned home from the ITP Tour North American Open 8-Ball Championships said they had previously committed to play in the first ever World Cup of Pool which opens on August 22 at the Newport Center, in Newport, Wales and are scheduled to leave on August 18 for promotional commitments and more importantly to be able to overcome the jetlag from a long flight.

Both Reyes and Bustamante who admitted that they found it hard to cope with the brutal physical demands of the IPT Tour event in Las Vegas and collapsed down the stretch because they were getting on in years said they didn't want to take any chances in the World Cup of Pool because they had been invited to represent the Philippines, not themselves. The format will also be demanding with 31 matches taking place over six action-packed days with both afternoon and evening sessions.

Each of the 32 nations will be battling for the top prize of $60,000. The Philippines tandem of Reyes and Bustamante who will be playing together for the first time in a top competitive event has been seeded No.1 with Holland anchored by youngsters Niels Feijen and Nich van den Berg seeded No. 2. The United States led by temperamental Earl Strickland and former US Open winner Rodney Morris have been seeded third.

The Philippines will face Malta led by Tony Drago and snooker star Alex Borg in the first round.