Is this the last we’ll see of “The Magician”, pool legend Efren “Bata Reyes”? The coming 2019 SEA Games may be labeled historic not just for being the biggest hosting the sporting event has ever seen, but also for being the last time we’ll get to see the magnificent Sir Efren perform his cue arts on a competitive stage.
While rumors of retirement have surrounded Reyes, 65, for a few years, the iconic billiards player has still continued to regularly compete internationally in selected tournaments. After nearly six decades of breaking records in his signature 9-ball event and other games like one-pocket, Reyes has claimed his place in the history of billiards.
Reyes began his billiard’s career before he was even tall enough to see over the table. Born in Mexico Pampanga in 1954, Reyes met his sport for the first time at the tender age of 5 when he began working as a billiards attendant at his uncle’s billiards hall in Manila.
With over 70 titles and trophies to his name, its no wonder that many analysists, fans, and other players regard Reyes as the best player of all time.
Reyes, who also coaches the Philippine team, is part of the Philippine contingent for the Games. He will be competing in the 3 cushion carom men’s singles, alongside long-time peer Francisco dela Cruz.
Back in 2011, Reyes bagged the bronze medal in the Palembang hosting of the Games.
Joining Reyes in the Philippine team are Dennis Orcollo, Chezka Centeno, Rubilen Amit, and Carlo Biado.