Reyes wins Japan Open

Efren Reyes

The 18th annual Japan Open was held in Tokyo on March 19-20 including over 350 men's players including 2004 JPBA ranking #1 and #2 players, Satoshi Kawabata and Kunihiko Takahashi. The Japan Open is the second-biggest event (the first is All Japan Championship in Nov) in Japan. Defending champions, Hui-Kai Hsia (TPE) and Shu-Pin Kao did not participate in this year.

The single knock-out stage started with 128 players after qualifying matches on day 1. The field of 128 was narrowed to just 16 players for the final day with many remarkable players losing on day 1 including Francisco Bustamante, Fong-Pang Chao and Chia-Ching Wu.

The tournament ended in an all philippine final. Efren Reyes scored wins over Toshiyuki Sugawara, Dennis Orcullo, and Masaaki Tanaka (who defeated Chao on day 1). Rodolfo Luat scored wins over Toru Kuribayashi (who defeated Wu on day 1), Ralf Souquet, and Hidenobu Takanami.

Last year, Luat defeated Reyes 9-3 in the final eight. Reyes got his revenge this year. Reyes took a 7-5 lead in the final and then broke and ran the final two racks for the 9-5 victory. Reyes got the title for the first time. Luat was the runner-up for the second time in a row.

90 players participated in the women's event. Seventeen year old Meng-Meng Zhou, the 2004 world junior champion, was the only foreign player in this event and she earned first place with an 8-4 win over Fuke Miyuki.

Please check for photos from the event.

Men's Payouts:
1st:Efren Reyes (PHI) $14,000 2nd:Rodlfo Luat (PHI) $7,500 3rd:Masaaki Tanaka (JPN) $3,250 3rd:Hidenobu Takanami (JPN) $3,250

Women's Payouts:
1st:Zhou Meng-Meng (CHI) $3,800
2nd:Miyuki Fuke (JPN) $1,900