Filipino pool icon Django Bustamante pointed out the importance of a blazing start when Team Asia takes on Team West on Thursday’s opening day of the inaugural Kings Cup at Resorts World Manila.
Under the race-to-10, three-day 10-ball team tournament format getting on an early roll is must.
Yet Bustamante wanted the home team composed former world champions Ko Pin Yin and Ko Ping Chung of Taiwan and billiards legend Efren “Bata” Reyes to click instantly because of another reason.
It’s something that comes with age.
“Kailangan kami na ang makauna. Kapag one-on-one at dikit ang laban baka lumabas na ang mga arthritis namin kaya dapat siguro kami na ang makauna,” said the 51-year-old Bustamante, the 2010 9-ball world champion.
Though Team Asia has young members in brothers Pin Yi and Ping Chung, Bustamante and Reyes are a bit decades ahead in age from the whole field.
Team West is composed of world champions Mika Immonen of Finland, American Shane Van Boening, Briton Daren Appleton and Austrian Albin Ouschan -- a squad with an average age of mid-30s.
“Siyempre 'di naman mawawala yung may mararamdaman ka na sa katawan mo,” said the 1999 World 9-ball winner Reyes, who at the age of 61 is still very active on the pool table.
So Team Asia is looking to take as many wins as possible in Day One that will unfurl at 6:00 p.m.
The tournament will open with all members of each team clashing in a 4-versus-4 10-ball race-to-five match.
Reyes and Bustamante will pair in one of the doubles match with the Taiwanese duo playing in the other against Appleton and Ouschan and the tandem of Van Boening and Immonen, repsectively.
Reyes will also play with the Ko brothers in the 3-on-3 match against Ouschan, Immonen and Van Boening.
Bustamante's singles rival is Van Boening while Ko Pin Yi takes on Appleton.
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