Phillipines’ Efren Reyes, one of the greatest pool players of all time, is set to compete in SEA Games 32 in Cambodia next month.
Robert Mananquil, president of the Billiards Sports Confederation of Philippines, confirmed Reyes, 69, would join Francisco Dela Cruz in two men’s carom events.
Reyes and Cruz won two bronze medals in the one-cushion carom event at SEA Games 31 in Vietnam last year, attracting many Vietnamese spectators to watch the legend play.
Reyes is nicknamed ‘the Magician’ thanks to his unique playing style. In his 40-year professional career, he has won almost everything there is to win, including the U.S. Open, Challenge of Champions and World Pool League Championship. He has also been inducted into the Billiards Hall of Fame.
At the SEA Games, he has won medals in every billards event such as carom, pool and snooker. He has yet to win a gold medal in a carom event.
Pool is a strength of the Philippines team, which won four gold medals in the sport at SEA Games 31. Carlo Biado and Johann Chua are the defending gold medalists in 10-ball and 9-ball events.
Vietnam will have 12 billiards players in SEA Games 32, of which Nguyen Duc Anh Chien and Nguyen Tran Thanh Tu will compete against Reyes in the carom.
Tu is the defending gold medalist in the single-cushion carom while Anh Chien is the silver medalist in three-cushion carom. In the men’s carom, Vietnam is the highest-rated team.
In SEA Games 31 billiards, the Philippines dominated with four gold medals, followed by Vietnam with two gold. Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar and Thailand were all third with one gold each.
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