Sentimental favorite Efren “Bata’ Reyes had little trouble trashing youthful Jerome Adolfo from Cebu, 9-3, to lead first round winners at the 2nd Manny Pacquiao International 10-Ball Championship which opened Monday, December 8, at the SM City General Santos activity center.
Adolfo looked he was about to give Reyes a good competition by evening up the score after four games, 2-2. But it was downhill from there on for Reyes who captured the next 8 games 7-1 to lead early winners.
Also breezing past the first round was 2009 10-Ball Champion Mika Immonen who easily beat John Salazar 9-2.
Tournament host and sponsor Manny Pacquiao narrowly lost to John Plunkett from Seattle, Washington 9-8 after missing the 7 ball in the 17th and final game.
Pacquiao graciously congratulated Plunkett after the game.
Canadian John Morra who was runner-up along with German Thornsten Hormman in the 1st Pacman 10-Ball tournament held last September took a little longer to beat Mohammad al-Shamari, 9-4.
Other first round winners were Johann Chua who also handily won over Rodrigo Yucamco (9-3) , Genesis Ouano who edged Lim Wei Kok of Brunei (9-4) and Brunei’s Ahmad Taufiq who blasted John Bautista, 9-2.
Others who were scheduled to see action late yesterday were Rodolfo Francisco ‘Django’ Bustamante, Warren Kyamco, Ronnie Alcano and Hormann who was individual champion in the September 1st Pacman 10-Ball tournament.
The 9-day double knockout tournament has attracted top players from around the world but notables absences were top players from Chinese-Taipei and other top European players like Ralph Souquet who all opted to play in their respective billiard circuits.
The US$150,000 tournament will run through December 17, in time for the birthday of Pacquiao who will turn 36.
The individual champion will get the top prize of US$30,000 while the doubles winners will split the US$40,000 champion purse.
Aside from billiards, Pacquiao also hosted the recently concluded amateur boxing challenge.