SEA Games: “Bata” wows in his opening win at Carom

Paul Lintag on Dec 04, 2019 06:09 PM
SEA Games: “Bata” wows in his opening win at Carom
On the hunt for his first-ever gold medal in the SEA Games, Bata is off to a good start, barely challenged by Thongchai during Wednesday’s quarterfinal. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)

MANILA — Efren “Bata” Reyes has once again wowed his home country.

The Magician is through to the semifinals of men’s 1-Cushion Carom in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, racing past Thailand’s Punyawee Thongchai, 100-37, Wednesday at the Manila Hotel Tent.

On the hunt for his first-ever gold medal in the SEA Games, Bata is competing in Carom or "karambola." The objective is to hit the two balls with one shot of the cue ball.

In Wednesday's quarterfinal against Thongchai, Reyes was barely challenged.

Bata was up 10-1 in the race to 100 match, but a 20-hit streak opened things up for he living billiards legend.

Up 17-8, Bata got favorable table position and proceeded to pile up the points and never looked back after he increased his lead to 37-8.

Still, Reyes says that he could have played better. Bata says that if he carries his performance against Thongchai to the semifinals, he’s going to have a difficult time winning.

“Wala akong kaba sa laro namin, yung kalaban ko medyo mahina pa yan. Kaya lang ang tira ko hindi gumagana,” Bata said.

“Yung susunod kong kalaban, World Champion na, ako mahihirapan. Kung ang titirahin ko ganyan, walang kabuhay-buhay. Kailangan mas maganda pa dun,” he added.

Despite picking up the rather convincing win, Bata was not satisfied at all.

The Magician says he could have given a better show for the packed audience that came to see him play. Still, with cheers for almost every shot of his, the crowd seemed to enjoy Bata’s opening performance just fine.

“Hindi gaganahan mga nanonood, lalo yung mga nag-punta rito para panooring yung mga tirahan, hindi gumana,” Bata said.

“Wala na ung magic ko ngayon. Masakit na. Kaya yung mga dating tinitira kong may magic, wala na di na gagana yun. Kailangan na lang therapy, kaya lang naglalaro pa ako. Pagkatapos na lang,” he added, revealing he’s been experiencing pain as he points to his right shoulder.

Reyes will be up against Vietnam's Ngo Dinh Nai in the semifinal. Vietnam is the powerhouse country in Carom.


Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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