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Bata struggles but makes semis anyway

Phl also sends 10-ball campaigners Centeno, Amit, snooker pair to next round

Trina Ibarle Orquiza

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Efren "Bata" Reyes plays pool at a billiards hall in Manila prior to the 30th SEA Games where he is entered in the carom event. (AFP)

Efren “Bata” Reyes displayed vintage form to thrash Thailand’s Punyawee Thongchai in the 1-cushion carom event and advance to the semifinals of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games at The Manila Hotel Tent on Wednesday.

The 65-year-old Reyes, whose presence in what he said would be his last SEA Games drew a large crowd, led all throughout the match which he convincingly won, 100-37.

Yet, he didn’t think he was at his best.

Lamang lang ako sa kalaban ko ngayon. Yung kalaban ko medyo mahina pa eh, kaya lang yung mga tira ko hindi gumagana, yung liko napapalakas (I had the advantage over my opponent. He has a weaker game, but my hits weren’t pulling through),” Reyes said.

Moving on to the semifinals, Reyes said he will need to bring his A-game.

“Yung susunod na kalaban ko (My next opponent is a), world champion. Kung ang titirahin ko ganyan, walang kabuhay-buhay, dapat mas maganda pa dapat dyan (If my hits are still like that, nothing will happen. I should do better),” Reyes said.

On the distaff side, Rubilen Amit and Chezka Centeno likewise made the semifinals in the 10-ball singles.

Amit whipped Vietnam’s Bui Xuan Vang, 7-1, following a 7-5 drubbing of Thailand’s Nuanthakhamjan Siripaporn in the pre-quarterfinals.

After drawing a bye, Centeno coasted to the quarterfinals with a 7-3 victory over Thailand’s Sukritthanes Waratthanun.

Meanwhile, Alvin Barbero and Jeffrey Roda kept the Philippine team’s hopes up in the men’s snooker doubles with a 3-0 semifinals victory over Thailand’s Tirapongpaiboon Thanawat and Suwannawat Passakorn.

However, the second men’s team of Michael Angelo Mengorio and Basil Hasan Al Shajjar bowed to the highly-favored Singapore team of Kingsley Tian Yi Ang and Chun Kiat Lim, 0-3.

Two men’s 9-ball doubles teams also crashed out of contention.

Myanmar’s Thu Aung Moe and Phone Myint Kyaw edged Warren Kiamco and Jeffrey Ignacio, 9-8, while Singapore’s Toh Lian Han and Aloysius Yap dominated Carlo Biado and Johann Chua, 9-3.

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