Solar Billiards signs broadcast agreement with National Billiards League

Aristeo "Putch" Puyat and Solar Sports chief operating officer Peter Chanliong sign the agreement

The long-dreamed creation of the National Billiards League (NBL) hit another breakthrough to its realization with the forging of a memorandum of agreement between the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) and Solar Sports.

That gives the NBL a broadcast partner for its maiden season that is slated to cue off late this year.

“This is it. There is no turning back, and we're all excited to hit the ball rolling and start the new era of Philippine billiards,” said longtime pool patrol Aristeo “Putch” Puyat of his brainchild he conceive almost a decade ago.

The signing of the memorandum of agreement was held Wednesday at the Solar Sports office in Makati with Puyat leading the signatories for the BMPAP, while Solar was represented by its Chief Operating Officer Peter Chanliong and vice-president for sales and marketing Jude Tarcuato. Also present were BMPAP co-founders Perry Mariano and Jonathan Sy, as well as 2007 World Pool runner-up Roberto Gomez and reigning national champion Lee Van Corteza.

“Finding a broadcast partner in Solar Sports, which is known for pioneering big time sporting events, will surely fast track the realization of this dream we in the Philippine pool community, including the players, share. That is why we're very thankful to Solar,” Puyat added.

Patterned after the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), the NBL will have the country's top cue artists, led by billiards legend Efren “Bata” Reyes, fellow former world champions Ronnie Alcano and Alex Pagulayan and current world no.1 Dennis Orcollo, along with a bunch of up and coming stars playing for corporate teams in a season-long team competition.

The next step is to find companies – eight as initially planned – that will sponsor a team, and the BMPAP doesn't find it hard to do since many firms, most of them have a team in the PBA, have already signified their intention to join the league.
“NBL will be the next big thing in Philippine sports entertainment,” said Mariano.
“It will also make billiards really a professional sport and players, especially the young ones, can make a career out of it,” he added.

The plan is for a team to employ six players.

“Imagine, that's 48 players, who will have regular income,” said Sy. “This is really a dream come true for all of us in Philippine billiards.”