Reyes Seeks Third Consecutive Title in Ho Chi Minh City

Efren Reyes

March 9, 2004, Singapore . . . 9-ball action arrives in Vietnam for the first time when current world number one player Francisco Bustamante leads a field of 32 top Asian players for the second leg of the five-city San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour at the Nguyen Du Sports Hall in Ho Chi Minh City. All the action will be carried LIVE on STAR Sports at 19:00, March 13 and 16:30, March 14 (Singapore/Hong Kong time).

Featuring a field with 8 of the world's top-50 players, the competition this weekend also provides the opportunity for the 32 participating players to garner qualifying points towards the World Pool Championships in July. The Tour is the only ranking event in Asia for players to qualify to the World Pool Championships.

Adding to the stakes will be a prize money purse of US$50,000 up for grabs this weekend and on each subsequent stop of the San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour; Hong Kong (April 17-18), Taipei (May 7-9) and Manila (May 29-30). The main draw includes players from Asian 11 countries/ regions.

In the Singapore leg two weeks ago, Chinese Taipei's Yang Ching Shun failed to defend his title and the title went to the Philippine legend Efren “Bata” Reyes, who has also crowned at the Philippines leg last year. The Magician beat his compatriot Warren Kiamco 11-4 in the final while Kiamco also set a Tour record as he made the final of his a third consecutive Tour leg.

Chen Huang Wu of Chinese Taipei celebrated his first overseas international tournament with a semi-final finish and Alok Kumar from India also broke into the semi-final after his surprising run that saw him defeat pool hall giants Francisco Bustamante and Chao Fong Pang in consecutive rounds.

Heroes of the game like former world champions Reyes and Chao Fong-Pang (1993 & 2000) of Chinese Taipei will definitely be the players to beat in Vietnam. But these 9-ball giants will face up against the likes of Busan Asian Games 9-Ball bronze medallist and current world number nine Jeong Young Hwa of Korea, Asia's number four Kuo Po Cheng as well as two two-time world youth champion Hsia Hui Kai and Lu Hui Chan, all from Chinese Taipei.

At this second leg of 2004, host Vietnam will be represented by Vu Trong Khai, Nguyen Phuc Long, Nguyen Thanh Nam and Nguyen Phuong Thao. The former three players are among Asia's top 50.

For all information on the Tour, please check out For the latest schedules and program information on ESPN STAR Sports, catch us on the net at

San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour, Ho Chi Minh City 2004- LIVE on STAR Sports
Mar 13 19:00 (L) 11:00 (R) Mar 15 Quarter-finals
Mar 14 16:30 (L) 19:02 (R) Mar 15 Semi-finals
Mar 14 20:00 (L) 22:00 (R) Mar 15 Final
Hong Kong/ Singapore Time. Schedule subject to change.

Sanctioned by the Asian Pocket Billiard Union, the San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour is organized by ESPN STAR Sports' Event Management Group (EMG). San Miguel Beer is the title sponsor for the Tour. Iwan Simonis and Aramith supply the official tablecloth and official balls respectively. STAR Sports is the official broadcaster. The 2004 Tour has events in Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Taipei and Manila. Besides total prize money of US$250,000, top 10 on the Tour Order of Merit every year will directly qualify into the World Pool Championships.