SEA Games 31: Pool legend Efren 'Bata' Reyes falls to Vietnamese foe in one-carom semis

Efren "Bata" Reyes fell to home bet Nguyen Tran Thanh Tu of Vietnam, 100-55, in the men's one-cushion carom semifinals of the SEA Games 31 on Monday at the Ha Dong Gymnasium.

Despite the loss in SEA Games 31, the iconic pool athlete was already assured of the bronze medal.

Reyes struggled early, falling to a huge 37-11 deficit against the Vietnamese cue artist, but was able to close the gap at 24-37 in their race-to-100 clash. Reyes, who was greeted by loud cheers from the in-venue fans, never recovered after that as the Vietnam bet advanced to the gold medal match.

With Reyes' bronze, the Philippines had collected a total of four medals from the sport, as Rubilen Amit captured the gold in the women's 9-ball pool singles while Johann Chua and Carlo Biado secured the gold and silver in the men's 9-ball.

Pool legend Efren 'Bata' Reyes falls to Vietnamese foe in one-carom semis
Efren 'Bata' Reyes at the 2019 SEA Games. Photo: Zeke Alonzo

Francisco dela Cruz, on the other hand, settled for a bronze medal in the men's 1-cushion carom singles event.

Efren 'Bata' Manalang Reyes is a Filipino professional pool player. A winner of over 100 international titles, Reyes was the first player to win the WPA World Championships in two different pool disciplines. Among his numerous titles, Reyes is a four-time World Eight-ball champion, a WPA World Nine-ball champion, a three-time U.S. Open winner, a two-time World Pool League winner, and a thirteen-time Derby City Classic winner. Reyes also represented the Philippines at the World Cup of Pool, winning the event with his partner Francisco Bustamante in 2006 and 2009. By defeating American player Earl Strickland in the inaugural Color of Money event in 1997, Reyes took home the largest single match purse in pool history of 100,000 USD. Many analysts, fans, and players consider Reyes to be the greatest pool player of all time.

Pool legend Efren 'Bata' Reyes falls to Vietnamese foe in one-carom semis
Efren 'Bata' Reyes at the SEA Games 31. (Photo: GMA News Online)

Reyes is nicknamed 'The Magician' for his ability on the pool table, and 'Bata', to distinguish him from a fellow pool player by the same name. In addition to pool, Reyes has played international billiards, specifically one-cushion and three-cushion.

In SEA Games 31, Reyes is the oldest player (68 years old) and catch a lot of attention from the audience. Each game he plays, the crowd is always full.

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(Source: GMA News Online)