Youthful David bags Villar Cup’s Sipag at Tiyaga division title

Marilao, Bulacan -- Former two-time world juniors' campaigner Rene Mar “Revo” David recovered from a jittery start to beat former national team mainstay Silverio Tulabing, 11-9, in the finals to win the Sipag at Tiyaga division of the First Senate President Manny Villar Cup Bulacan Leg yesterday at the Event Center of SM City here.

It was breakthrough performance for the 18-year-old Candon City, Ilocos Sur native, who finally notched a title barely two years after rising to prominence with his fifth-place finish in the 2006 World Juniors Championship in Sydney, Australia. He also represented the Philippines in the 2007 World Juniors' tilt in Germany.

“I'm very happy that I finally won a tournament this big. I hope this would be the start of more big things coming my way,” said David, a member of the star-studded Bugsy Promotions of businessman Perry Mariano.

The feat also earned David the P70,000 top purse at stake in the event presented by Villards: Tulong sa Pagsulong ng Philippine Sports and sponsored by Camella Communities.

In upending his much experienced foe, David had to bounce back from a couple of three racks deficit, and needed a couple of magical shots in the final two frames.

“When he (Tulabing) made it 3-0, I just told myself that I will take it one rack at a time,” said David, who cleaned up the next three frames to tie the count at 3-all.

Another 3-0 blast had Tulabing, a two-time Southeast Asian Games bronze medalist, leading 6-3, but David countered with a 6-1 run to take the driver's seat for the first time at 9-7.

The Davao City-born Tulabing, then pocketed rack nos.17 and 18 to force another deadlock, before David cleaned up the next rack and the solved the 20th frame with a jump shot of the three-ball and a two-five-nine combination.

Tulabing, who ruled the Bangus Festival Billiards Open last May in Dagupan City, blamed his loss to a series of fouls midway the two-hour match and settled for P30,000 prize.

“It was a good start for me but I failed to keep the momentum because David is also really good despite his young age,” said Tulabing, who, like David, advanced in the finals unbeaten.

Murphy Baroa and Richard Fornelosa settled for P10,000 each for reaching the semifinals but defeated by David, 8-9, and Tulabing, 6-9, respectively..

Meanwhile, the much-anticipated Pro Elite division of this third leg of the island-hopping series cued off yesterday with no less that Senate President Manny Villar gracing the opening ceremony.

The country's top cue artists, led by pool maestro Efren “Bata” Reyes are vying for the prestigious Villar Cup and the equally-handsome P300,000 top prize at stake in this three-day event organized by the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP) and supported by Puyat Sports, Bugsy Promotions, Negros Billiards Stable and ER Cues.

Besides Reyes, other top local cue artists who see action in the three-day elite competition include fellow former world champions Django Bustamante and Ronnie Alcano.

First two legs champions Warren Kiamco and Gandy Valle will compete also for P400,000 top purse along with 2007 World Pool finalist Roberto Gomez, former SEAG gold winner Lee Van Corteza, Rodolfo Luat and Ramil Gallego