By Lily O Ramos

MANILA, Feb. 23 (PNA) – World billiards icon of the Philippines, Efren “Bata” Reyes, stopped countryman Dennis “Robocop” Orcollo, 7-5, in their group stage play to remain unbeaten in the on-going World 8-Ball Pool Championship 2011 at the Fujairah Exhibition Center in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates Tuesday.

“I hope to hold on to my momentum,” said Reyes, who ruled the WPA World Pool Championships in Cardiff, Wales in 1999 and the WPA World 8-Ball Championships in Fujairah, United Arab Emirates in 2005.

Reyes from Angeles City, the top player of sportsman/ businessman and billiards godfather Aristeo “Putch” Puyat, is set to face another compatriot, Antonio “Nickoy” Lining, in the next round.

Lining, playing under the banner of Jonathan Sy’s Negros Billiards Stable (NBS) outpointed Jepthant Palencia, 7-2, in Group 3.

“The ball is on my side,” said Lining, who hails from Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro.
Another former World 8-ball champion Ronato “Volcano” Alcano and reigning World 10-ball finalist Lee Vann “The Slayer” Corteza also from the rising Negros Billiards Stable also won their group stage matches.

Alcano from Calamba, Laguna edged another Filipino bet Ramil “Bebeng” Gallego, 7-4, in Group 7 while Corteza from Davao City crushed Mehdi Rasheki, 7-3, in Group 10.
Alcano goes up against Basher Hussain, winner over Carlo Dalmatin, 7-6, while Corteza will face Thomas Engert, who had a similar 7-6 decision win against another NBS star John Salazar.

Sharing the limelight is Francisco Felicilda who dealt Ricardo Jones, 7-5, in Group 8, Oliver Medinilla who upset Li Wen Lo, 7-1, in Group 9, Roberto Gomez nipped Ralf Souquet, 7-6, in Group 11, and Rodolfo Luat waylaid Marcus Chamat, 7-5.

Meantime, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, the reigning World 9-ball champion suffered his second straight loss this time to David Alcaide, 7-3, even as Vinancio Tanio bowed to Finland’s Mika Immonen, 7-4.

In the loser’s side, Gallego bounce back in contention by beating Majid Sultan, as well Joven Bustamante whacked Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, 7-5. (PNA)