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The Magician commends team’s great plays; says hesitant plays cost them Kings Cup trophy

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Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes spearheaded Team Asia in the recently concluded three-day King’s Cup last November 20 at the Newport Mall, Resort World Manila. His team eventually succumbed to Mika Immonen’s Team West after series of comeback attempts in the end.

The 61-year old billiard legend stood as the captain of the losing end of the final match, with another Filipino legend Fransico Bustamante. The Ko brothers of Taiwan, Pin Yi and Ping Chung, complete the Magician’s allies in the tournament.

Talking about captaining the Team East, Reyes quipped with laughter that he was definitely chosen as the captain of their group because he seems to be the oldest among them. True to his billing, ‘Bata’ can be considered not just the oldest but the most experienced of his team, as he has been in the billiard industry since the 1960s and has won over 70 international titles.

“Sumusunod sila sa akin kaya lang minsan yung mga kasama ko di kami nagkakaintindihan,” said Reyes on his Taiwanese teammates. However, he credits his teammates’ skills and explained that each one of them have different shots and approaches in certain situations. He remembers suggesting some shots, but his teammates are skilled enough to have used other techniques that worked just as well.

On their problems midway the competition, Reyes explains, “Ang bawat isa sa amin may tira. May maganda, may masama. Magagaling (teamamtes), nahiya lang sila tumira. Kagaya nung naghahabol kami inabot din ng kalaban namin.”

Not looking at lack of talent, ‘Bata’ suggested his teammates’ hesitations on their shots primarily speaks of how they concluded the match. He also cites some lucky shots converted by Team West during the turning point of the match.

Down by three in the final frame, The Magician recalls, “Syempre iniisip naming may pag-asa pa. Magagaling din naman to. Hindi lang talaga lumabas yung mga tira nila.”

After the conclusion of the first-ever King’s Cup, questions arise if Reyes considers coming back again in the second edition of the tournament. He then ends considering younger players coming in, “Pwede nila akong gamiting captain pero sila na lang maglalaro siguro.”

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