POOL masters Efren "Bata" Reyes and Francisco "Django" Bustamante axed wins at the start of the singles competition of the Sarangani Cong. Manny Pacquiao-sponsored MP Cup-GenSan Tuna Festival International Open 10-Ball Tournament at the Pacman Multi-Purpose Gymnasium in Tambler Village, General Santos City, Tuesday afternoon.
Reyes breezed past Ken John Tuboso, 9-5, while Bustamante crushed Nelson Castillon, 9-1, in the alternate break, double elimination format event sanctioned by World Pool Association.
Tournament director Edgar Acaba, in a phone interview with Sun.Star Davao yesterday, said the singles event stakes a total cash prize of $30,000.
Jundel Mazon also drew first blood by whipping Cedrick Gonzales, 9-1.
Former World 9-ball champion Fil-Canadian Alex Pagulayan was still playing Ruben Cuña of Davao City as of press time along with other matches pitting Oliver Villafuerte of Digos City against Jordan Legaspi, former Sun.Star Superbalita Mindanao Open 9-Ball Challenge champion Christopher Alanunay of Davao City against Darwin Barnadaz, ex-Sun.Star Superbalita Mindanao Open 9-Ball Challenge titlist Val Pajuay of Davao City against more experienced John Morra of Canada and Ho Jun Kwon against Baseth Mapandi.
The singles event will be held until Saturday while the main doubles tournament, which offers a total $100,000, is slated September 10 to 12.
The eight-division world boxing champion Pacquiao will pair with Marlon Manalo while Reyes will join forces with Bustamante and Dennis Orcollo teaming up with Carlo Biado.
Pagulayan will partner with former Asian Games gold medalist Gandy "Yang-Yang" Valle.
The rest of the confirmed pairs: Jeff de Luna and Jeffrey Ignacio, Antonio Gabica and Israel Rota, Antonio Lining and Ramil Gallego, Roel Esquillo and Romeo Silvano, and Johann Chua and Jayjay Millares.
Also expected to see action are Ralf Soquet and Thorsten Hohman of Germany, Americans Earl Strickland and Mike Dechaine, American Shane Van Boening and Great Britain's Jayson Shaw, Darren Appleton and Karl Boyles of the United Kingdom, Finland's Mikka Immonnen and American Rodney Morris, siblings Pin-Yi Ko and Pin-Chen Ko of Chinese-Taipei, Qatari tandem Mojid Bihali and Basser Hussain, Abdullah Al Youseff of Kuwait and Allan Quartero of the Philippines, Stuart Pettman of UK and Filipino Oliver Jay Villafuerte, and Saleh Muhammad of UAE and Filipino Oliver Mendenilla. (With Sunnex)