Sunday, September 6, 2009

The Shootout at the SM Annex Corral

The Magician Efren “Bata” Reyes dug deep into his bag of tricks and Francisco “Django” Bustamante did not blink in their nerve- wracking showdown with the pair of Ralph Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann as the Filipinos won over their German counterparts in a classic shootout at The Annex of SM North Edsa Mall in Quezon City, the Philippines to win the 2009 World Cup of Pool and the $60,000 prize.

I watched the finals on live stream and was on edge for the entire game as both teams battled for every shot. It was a nip and tuck affair with a lot of safety battles that would test one’s wit and patience. The Filipinos were down early and had to play catch up as they found themselves trailing 9-7 in the race to 11 championship match.

But Django and Bata rose to the occasion as they finally regained their bearings to the delight of the highly- partisan crowd and frustrated the Germans with their superb shot making and safeties to tie the match at 9-9 and never looked back on their way to the championship as the expected blitzkrieg from their fancied opponents never materialized.

Django was in his usual steady self as he sank one ‘hard’ shot after another when his turn at the table came up and when he’s in his element he’s virtually untouchable. On the other hand, Reyes’ skill at making nearly impossible shots possible was a joy to watch. He was the same old jolly magician all over again. I am glad that slowly but surely Bata is getting back into the groove.

It was only fitting that Reyes took the last 9 ball out for the championship win to announce his return in the winning circle on the world stage. He was out of luck the last couple of years in various tournaments that he participated in and was mostly under the radar because of varying reasons. But 2009 proves to be a fruitful year for him as he earlier won The Manny Villar Cup Kadayawan Leg in Davao two weeks ago.

The win for the dynamic duo earned them another record into billiards’ history book as the only two- time champion of the elite tournament having won the inaugurals in 2006.

video credits: rvsicuan21/ CS9
photo credits: Joey Mendoza/ Philstar

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