Bustamante tops Japan Open

MANILA, Philippines—Francisco “Django” Bustamante upstaged pool partner Efren “Bata” Reyes, 9-7, in an all-Filipino finals to put away his second Japan 9-Ball Open championship in Tokyo on Sunday.

But it was a victory the former world No. 1 Bustamante admittedly will not cherish, not one against a close buddy, Puyat Sports teammate and co-winner of unprecedented two World Cup of Pool doubles titles.

Bustamante, who beat compatriot Jeffrey de Luna in the semifinals to earn the right to face his legendary kumpadre in the race-to-9 finals, pocketed the champion’s purse of 1.5 million yen (about P755,000).

Reyes downed Japanese veteran Toru Kuribayashi in the final four. He settled for 500,000 yen.

Bustamante also won the 2002 edition of the tournament, which drew about 400 of the world’s finest cue masters this time.

“It’s always hard to play against Pareng Efren anywhere,” said Bustamante in Filipino. “We don’t cherish matches like the (Japan Open) finals because we always compete together overseas.”

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