GENERAL SANTOS CITY — If Manny Pacquiao is for boxing and Paeng Nepomuceno is for bowling, Efren “Bata” Reyes is for billiards. If Pacquiao is acknowledged as holder of eight world titles in as many weight divisions and Nepomuceno close to 120 international championships in the different sporting arenas in the world, Reyes owns no less than 90 such crowns.
That includes the Manny Pacquiao 10-Ball singles plum he just captured last week here. Reyes, christened “Bata” to distinguish himself from another pool player also named Efren is also sometimes called Efrey in the local billiards community as a shortcut for Efren Reyes. Born on August 26, 1954 in Mexico, Pampanga, Bata is the first man to be crowned world champion in two different disciplines — the world 9-ball and 8-ball. That’s besides pocketing the highest single purse in pool history — $200,000 in emerging winner of the historic 2005 IPT King of the Hill shootout. Bata also took home the $170,000 top prize in ruling the International Billiards Tournament with over a record 700 players held in Tokyo with a total purse $850,000 (Y850 million).
Photo: Teaming up with longtime kumpadre and fellow pool great, Francisco “Django” Bustamante.