Bata, Django lead Team Asia in Kings Cup
BEST OF THE BEST --- Team Asia takes on Team West in the inaugural Kings Cup.
Four of Asia’s finest cue masters spearheaded by local heroes Django Bustamante and ageless Efren “Bata” Reyes clash with the best players from Europe and USA in a three-day team billiards war starting Thursday in the inaugural Kings Cup at Resorts World Manila.
Former world champions Reyes and Bustamante team up with Taiwanese hotshots Ko Pin Yi, a four time world title holder, and Ko Ping Chung for the first time as Team Asia tests the mettle of Team West composed of Mika Immonen of Finland, American Shane Van Boening, Briton Daren Appleton and Austrian Albin Ouschan, brother of women’s champion Jasmin Ouschan.
Competition starts at 6:00 p.m.
Under the tournament format each team will compete in a 4 versus 4, two doubles pairing, two singles matches and a 3-on-3 10-ball race-to-five contest. The first team to win 10 matches will take the crown.
“Exciting itong format na ito kasi team at first time ko na makakasama itong mga dati na naming nakakalaban. Matindi rin ang mga kalaban namin kasi halos hindi sila sumasablay,” said the 51-year-old Bustamante, the 2010 9-ball world champion.
“Pero itong mga ka-team ko magagaling na ‘to. Lalo na itong kumpare ko hindi sumasablay ‘to,” said Bustamante while tapping the back of good buddy Reyes, drawing laughter from the press and guests that attended the tournament’s launch Wednesday night at the Remington Hotel in Pasay City.
Team Asia captain Reyes already prepared their lineup for Day One. He 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, respectively.
Reyes will also play with the Ko brothers in the 3-on-3 match against Ouschan, Immonen and Van Boening.
Though playing against the home team, Team West’s team skipper Immonen said that they have an advantage against Team Asia.
“I think our biggest advantage against them is that all of us can speak English. This is a team contest so having good communication with your team is important,” said Immonen, a two time world champion.
Bustamante will play in the singles against Van Boening while Ko Pin Yi takes on Appleton.
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