Top Rp Pool Players To Vie For National Title

Alex 'The Lion' Pagulayan

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - PHILIPPINE billiards' greatest names and the runner-up in the recent IPT North American 8-Ball Championship will compete for top honors in the 2006 BSCP National 9-Ball Championship set Aug. 15 to 20 at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium.

Former world champions Efren "Bata" Reyes and Alex "The Lion" Pagulayan and IPT runner-up "Marvelous" Marlon Manalo head the stellar cast of cue artists seeing action in the premier pool competition organized by the Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines and Raya Sports .

Also competing in the six-day event are Francisco "Django" Bustamante, 2006 Japan Open champion Antonio "Nickoy" Lining, and Ramil "Bebeng Gallego, who recently won the Bangkok leg of the San Miguel 9-Ball Tour.

Joining them as outright qualifiers in the 64-man main draw is Dennis "Surigao" Orcollo, who won the recent Reno Open and placed third in the IPT tilt in Las Vegas last Monday.

Ronato "Ronnie" Alcano and Lee Van Corteza, who both won gold medals in the 2005 Southeast Asian Games, are also ensured of slots in the event.

Filipino pool players based in the US and the Middle East, including Jose "Amang" Parica, are also slated to participate in the prestigious tournament meant to gather established stars and promising players in the game.

"With the likes of Bata, Alex, Django, Nickoy, Bebeng, Amang and Dennis taking part in the National 9-Ball Championship, we can expect exciting and top-class competition from start to finish," BSCP chairman Yen Makabenta said.

The BSCP National Championship offers a total prize fund of P2 million, with a cool P1 million going to the national champion.

Also at stake in the tournament are four berths in the 2006 Philippines World Pool Championship in November.

Tickets to the event are now available at Ticketworld outlets. Ticketworld, the official ticketing provider of the 2006 NPC, has made tickets available at selected National Bookstore branches, Robinson's Department Stores, Tower Records, Ayala Center Inc., Greenbelt Ticket Booth Cinema Lobby, Glorietta Ticket Booth Cinema Lobby, and on the Ticketworld web site,