Billiards legend Efren "Bata" Reyes has apologized after participating in a crowded pool game in San Pedro city, Laguna, which violated health protocols last week.
Reyes explained his side in a letter sent to Games and Amusements Board (GAB) chairman Baham Mitra.
"I am deeply sorry for what happened, I don't have control over the situation and the people around the vicinity," said the multi-titled world champion in a letter posted by Mitra on Twitter.
"I, myself, was well aware of the safety protocols so that I will not acquire this virus and I'm hoping and praying for everyone's safety."
Reyes, 66, said that before agreeing to appear in the exhibition game that took place on Thursday last week, he advised the organizer to seek permission from the local government first.
But when news of his arrival spread, fans began to arrive in throngs and social distancing was no longer observed.
"The barangay captain was aware of the event, he reminded them to follow rules. He kept remind the people watching the game to observe social distancing and follow safety protocols," he said.
"But since they were not following, the barangay captain was forced to call the police. Calling the police was the only way of the barangay captain to make the watchers obey him."
Reyes said he complied with the police's request to follow them to the barangay hall.
There, he and his companions were issued a warning. No charges were filed.
"They gave us our cue stick. Then we went home after," said Reyes.
A video of the "raid" circulated online, showing police and local barangay officials confiscating billiards equipment and accosting Reyes, who was seen playing pool without a mask.
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