The Lion takes on bigger ‘prey’

Alex Pagulayan

After winning the 2007 Sun Star Superbalita 9-Ball Challenge Open Division, Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan will face a tougher challenge—uniting all pool and snooker players to form an organization.

The outspoken Pagulayan, has become the subject of the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines' (BSCP) rage when he allegedly refused to play for a pool tournament on TV. According to Pagulayan, that refusal led to his being replaced by Jeff de Luna in the final leg of the Guinness 9-Ball tour in Beijing.

However, BSCP said their reason for replacing Pagulayan from the tour, was because of his "unethical" behavior during the semifinal round during the Singapore leg, where he lost to Ibrahim Amir, 11-13.

According to BSCP, Pagulayan was "sharking" or was trying to intimidate Amir during a crucial point of the game.

However, Pagulayan insisted that he behaved well during his game.

"What they've done was unfair. It was unfair to me and unfair to the other deserving players. I had spent my own money for the Guinness tour but it went for naught because they replaced me with just anybody," Pagulayan told Sun Star Cebu while having a break before he played Antonio "Gaga" Gabica in the finals.

It might be a hilly battle to convince his fellow players to put up an organization that would protect them, but Pagulayan is determined to lead billiard players and to have a voice inside the BSCP.

"It is safe that I already had 80 percent support from my fellow billiards and snooker players. This is a long overdue plan but it's never too late at all," Pagulayan said.

Pagulayan voiced his displeasure regarding the BSCP when he held a press conference together with the other Superbalita 9-Ball Challenge seeded players last Saturday at the Rajah Park Hotel.

File photo courtesy of Diana Hoppe - Pool Pics by Hoppe