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Bata beats Strickland in Texas duel

PNS – Efren “Bata” Reyes sustained his magical run to beat Earl Strickland in a Challenge Match of the prestigious Galveston Billiards World Classic held over the weekend at the Moody Gardens in Houston, Texas. Despite limited time to acclimatize, having arrived in the US just a few days earlier, the 55-year-old Reyes trounced his arch rival, 15-11, to win the title.

The win was a follow-up to his victory in the recent World Cup of Pool where he teamed up again with Francisco “Django” Bustamante to regain the title before ec­static Filipino fans less than a week ago. Strickland was the same opponent Reyes beat in the historic race-to-120 “Color of Money” duel, a 9-Ball tourna­ment which staked $100,000, the biggest single-winning purse in pool history.

It was believed that Reyes’ fame start­ed in this three-day event where he beat Strickland, 120-117, in Hong Kong in 1997.

With the Galveston win, Reyes pock­eted the $5,000 (P240,00) winner’s purse of the event calling for a 10-ball, winner’s break, race-to-15 format.