Django and Bata spearhead the Asian charge in the Asia vs Europe Men’s 9-Ball

Efren “Bata” Reyes and Francisco “Django” Bustamante expect a tough grind when they spearhead the Asian charge in the Asia vs Europe Men’s 9-Ball Team Challenge that starts this Friday at the Sutra Hall, Rizqun International Hotel in Brunei.

Reyes said beating their rivals will be a tall order since they lack of time to practice with their teammates.

“It will be a very tough match against the top European players. The Europeans are a very solid team and I still don’t know much about my teammates from Taiwan and Brunei,” the 55-year-old Reyes told a local newspaper upon their arrival in Brunei.

Bustamante agreed with his long-time buddy.

“We are expecting tough matches but we will try our best to beat the Europeans who are very young and strong,” said Bustamante, who will play for the first time in the former English colony.

Reyes and Bustamante, whose successful partnership earned them a second World Cup of Pool title in Manila last year, will be joined by host’s Teo Chee Soon and Taiwanese Ko Pin Yi and Lu Hui Chan in the World Pool Billiards-Association-sanctioned event that stakes a total cash prize of $45,000 (P2.1 million).

“We will need a lot of luck if we are to upset the Europeans. In 9-ball pool, luck is important,” added the former double world champion Reyes, who will be playing for the third time in Brunei.

Reyes had earlier competed in the 1999 Brunei Southeast Asian Games and the Brunei Invitational 9-ball Pool Championship four years ago.

Team Europe is made up of World no. 2 Ralf Souquet of Germany, Darren Appleton and Imran Majid of England, Ruslan Chinahov of Russia and Nick Van Den Berg of Holland.

Both teams will play 15 matches  five double and 10 single events  with the squad piling up the highest number of won match at the end of competition be declared the team champion.

Every double event and single event won by each team is equivalent to one point with doubles event enforcing a Scotch doubles format.

The champion team bags $27,000 (P1.2 million), runner-up team $13,000 (P624,000) and single match winner $5,000 (P240,000). (Tempo Sports)

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