MANILA, Philippines - The world's best pool players are in the country once again this time for back-to-back major tournaments.
Teeing up first is the World Pool Masters, where 16 of the best of the world battle in a single round knockout format, with the lone survivor to earn $20,000.
Among the Philippines' best bets are Efren 'Bata' Reyes, Django Bustamante, Dennis Orcollo, and Lee Van Corteza.
The rest of the world boasts of Japan's Yukio Akagariyama, England's Darren Appleton and Chris Melling, Taiwan's Chang Jun-Ling, Malta's Tony Drago, China's Fu Jianbo, India's Rah Jundal, Finland's Mika Immonen, Holland's Huidji See, Canada's Jason Klatt, and Germany's Ralf Souquet of Germany
But with the recent success of the Philippines in other sports such as Dragon Boat and Ultimate Frisbee, plus the upswing in popularity of football with the Azkals, the elder statesmen of the sport were asked about their point of view of how billiards was surviving with the up and coming sports and athletes.
Reyes felt that they lack managers to help out the enormous talent that is out there. For now, there is only a handful of managers who can bankroll foreign trips abroad for players to gain experience and earn better prize money compared to small tournaments here.
The Pinoy pool greats are appealing to the public and the sponsors to remember that the Philippines is still on top of the world when it comes to pool, and their continued support will be key in keeping the interest alive and the talent growing and improving.
Right after the World Pool Masters, which runs from September 3 to 5, the World Cup of Pool will kick off also at SM North to treat Pinoys to the best pool in the world with 31 countries sending their best 2-man teams to try to bag the crown anew.