Bata starts hunt for first SEA Games gold

ABS-CBN Sports on Jun 06, 2015 06:51 PM
Bata starts hunt for   first SEA Games gold
Will Efren "Bata" Reyes finally capture his first SEA Games gold medal?

SINGAPORE -- For a change, Efren "Bata" Reyes will be charting an unknown territory.

The Hall of Fame cue master will wade into battle when he faces Rudy Hasan of Indonesia in the men's cushion carom of the 28th Southeast Asian Games Sunday at the OCBC Arena Hall 4 inside the National Stadium here.

Match starts at 1 pm while Michael Mengorio and Chezka Centeno will also see action in the quarterfinal round of men's snooker singles and women's 9-ball events, respectively. 

The 61-year old Reyes -- the three-time Sportsman of the Year by the Philippine Sportswriters Association and one of the Filipino world champions in his sport -- surprisingly has yet to win a gold medal in the regional level.

He settled for bronze in the men's carom 1 cushion of the 2011 and 2013 biennial meets as well as bronze in the men's carom 3 cushion also in the Palembang Games.

Still, the gold medal is hard to come by.

And this year may not be different.

"Mahirap kasi ang carom eh. Hindi natin laro yan. Mas magagaling ang mga Vietnamese dyan," said the legendary athlete in jest. "Pero gagawin pa din natin makakaya natin. Susubukan pa din natin para sa bansa."

His coach, Dodong Luat, agreed.

"Vietnam talaga malakas dyan," he said, adding that hopes are high in men's 9-ball singles, men's 9-ball dooubles and women's 9-ball singles where Carlo Biado, Warren Kiamco and Rubilen Amit aree expected to dominate the field.

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