Reyes Enters Final Four With Blazing Eight Rack Run

Efren Reyes

Efren “Bata” Reyes, showing flashes of the brilliance of old, recovered from a sluggish start against another former world pool champion Kunihiko Takahashi of Japan to finish with a blazing eight-rack run to enter the Final Four in the Bacolod Leg of the 1st Senate President Manny Villar Cup.
The 54 year old Reyes playing before a huge crowd of supporters at the Garden Royal Function Hall of Goldfields Commercial Complex missed three comparatively easy shots in a poor start that saw Takahashi, the 1998 World Pool Champion grab a 4-3 lead.
Reyes who is known in the world of pool as “The Magician” then dug deep into his bag of tricks  with a long, acutely-angled bank shot of the red 3 in the eighth frame and tied the match,  before a scintillating  stretch of break and run-outs that delighted the fans at the fifth stop of the prestigious island-hopping series presented by Villards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine sports.   
With the triumph Reyes moved to within two wins of pocketing the top prize of $15,000 and breaking a long dry spell in the four day tournament organized by the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines in cooperation with the Bacolod City government headed by Mayor Evelio Leonardia and the Negros Billiards Stable of businessman Jonathan Sy and sponsored by Camella Communities.
Reyes faces hometown favorite Ramil Gallego who earlier ousted Joven Bustamante 11-7 in the quarter finals while in the other semi final showdown veteran Rodolfo “Boy Samson” Luat who has had a fine run faces unheralded Michael Feliciano.
The 50 year old Luat who is known for his tendency to falter in close end-games proved he is still a threat when he beat Cebu leg winner Gandy Valle 11-7 after he got rid of former Asian Games gold medal winner Antonio Lining and 2006 World Pool Champion and 8-Ball king Ronnie Alcano.
The 24 year old Feliciano who belongs to the star-studded stable of Bugsy Promotions passionate pool enthusiast Perry Mariano made the semis by routing fellow qualifier Ronnie Aying 11-1 in a match where Feliciano opened with seben consecutive breaks and run-outs.
All four semi finalists are guaranteed $2,500 each.