Back in the day when I was a young, EXTREMELY HOT, college student, I used to go to billiard halls to kill time as I wait for the next class and well, cut class because waiting for the next class made me lazy.

Also… computer games!  

Up to this day, I still don’t know how I passed Political Science 101.

Anyway, I lived in a time when pool announcers are shocked to witness whatever shots Efren "Bata" Reyes was pulling. I don’t even think they considered banking the ball with the way they react.

Reyes up to this day is still a 9-ball magician.

Nonetheless, I remembered a time when there are at least six Philippine channels showing at least one billiard show in a week. Right off the bat, I’ll have both ESPN and Star Sports and other Pinoy channels like NBN, Studio 23, IBC, and I guess RPN… or RJ TV I think.  

When I was at NBN, we used to have a show called the Corporate Billiards League. The bosses asked me to submit billiard-based monikers for the teams that participated. Of the names I submitted, the best nickname that sticks out is Carom-ballers. I forgot most of the names I made but it should mesh billiard terms and its corporate sponsor. Anyway, I know Tanduay fielded a team and the likes of Carlo Biado, Gaga Gabica, Roberto Gomez, Joven Bustamante and other up and comers were part of the short-lived league.

Nowadays, we rarely see any pool on TV. I guess I would rather have a competitive billiard show to compete against the likes of basketball and volleyball than getting a third-rate league comprised of no-namers. I mean, I saw National Basketball League action a couple of days ago on BTV and while I can see the effort, I don’t like how it looks on TV.

There are rays of sunlight visible in not-so-well-painted arenas.

Heck, there’s even a masking tape in the court as it’s also used for volleyball games.

If a network can promote a launching show by going to malls, then they could just go a random food court, set up at least three billiard tables, and shoot episodes.

Hell, they can even give them wrestling-style entrances like the ones they had when the World 9-Ball Championships were held in Cardiff.

So for this month, in anticipation of the 2019 World 9-Ball Championship, I will list down the 25 Greatest Players of the tournament. The event started in 1999 with the legendary Efren Reyes as the inaugural winner and former Filipino world champs that include Biado, Ronnie Alcano, and the great Django Bustamante leading the Filipinos. Currently, Germany’s Joshua Filler is the reigning champion as Biado was not able to make the history books as the first tournament back-to-back winner since Earl Strickland in 1990 and 1991.

The intention of these blogs is to get Pinoys back to their old billiard-crazy selves. I think we are missing out on the great plays of the new breed of players with Biado transforming himself as Pinoy pool's next big rockstar. If Efren slept in billiard halls, Biado would work on his pool skills at night after fulfilling his duties as a golf caddy. His highest WPA ranking is one and he’s currently the third-ranked player in the world.

So there.

I have roughly six months to bring home my point.

Check the blog for updates. 



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