SEA Games: “Bata” tries to work his magic as gold medal bid resumes vs. powerhouse Vietnam

Paul Lintag on Dec 06, 2019 10:22 AM
“Bata” tries to work his magic as his gold medal bid resumes
Following a smashing debut in 1-Cushion Carom, 65-year-old Bata Reyes takes on Vietnam’s Dinh Nai Ngo with a slot in the gold medal game on the line. (Photo by Richard Esguerra)

MANILA — Admittedly, Efren “Bata” Reyes says he has little to no more pool magic left.

But as billiards action in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games go further with critical matches, The Magician looks to pull off a few more tricks up his sleeve in order to snatch that elusive gold medal.

Following a smashing debut in 1-Cushion Carom, 65-year-old Bata Reyes takes on Vietnam’s Dinh Nai Ngo with a slot in the gold medal game on the line.

Vietnam is the traditional powerhouse in Carom, or “Karambola” as it’s called here, and Ngo is as legit as any opponent could be for Reyes.

If Bata is to work his magic, the time is now and he knows it.

“Pipilitin ko talunin, pero magaling yun,” Reyes said of Ngo.

“Baka mamaya, sumama din tira nun at gumanda tira ko, bumalik,” he added.

If Bata somehow pulls through and wins his first-ever SEA Games gold, everyone will know that he worked for it.

The Magician has taken on alll of the world’s best during his legendary billiards career and now he’s taking on a Carom powerhouse for the only prize he’s yet to win.

“Dito sa karambola, pinaka malakas na kalaban talag Vietnam,” he said.

“Kamukha natin, lumalaban din yan all over the world. Sa  karambola, sila tinatawag na world champion ngayon,” Bata said.

The Magician is once again the centerpiece of a loaded billiards slate Friday as his semifinals against Ngo is set for 4:00 p.m. at Manila Hotel Tent.

Also seeing action for Team Philippines are Rubilen Amit, Chezka Centeno, and Dennis Orcollo in their respective singles categories.

 

Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8

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