The Philippines will be fielding two teams for the World Cup of Pool, which starts September 4 at Robinsons Place Manila.
The legendary Efren “Bata” Reyes will be reunited with bosom buddy Django Bustamante. The pair has won the tournament twice, in 2006 and 2009, and are seeded eighth
Former world 8-ball champion and reigning WPA Player of the Year Dennis Orcullo will team up with Lee Van Corteza. Orcullo and Corteza are seeded No. 2 behind Germans Ralf Souquet and Thorsten Hohmann, the defending champions of the tournament.
But another Filipino ace, Alex Pagulayan, will be wearing different colors.
Pagulayan will be representing Canada in the tournament. The Filipino Canadian, who played for the Philippines in the 2004 edition of the competition, declined to comment about his decision.
Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines secretary-general Perry Mariano told InterAKTV that Pagulayan’s decision didn’t come as a shock.
“Hindi naman natin puwedeng pilitin ‘yung ayaw mag-represent ng Philippines sa major tournament,” said Mariano in a telephone interview. “Besides, si Pagulayan ayaw rin ng klase ng pulitika sa billiards dito sa atin. At the same time, if a player is asked by his manager not to represent a certain country, wala naman silang magagawa.”
Pagulayan rose to prominence eight years ago when he beat Chang Pei Wei in the World 9-Ball Championship. He obtained dual citizenship the same year and represented the Philippines in international competitions.
In 2005, Pagulayan wore Philippine colors when Manila hosted the Southeast Asian Games, in which he won three gold medals in billiards and snooker events.
Pagulayan will team up with John Morra in the tournament.