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Sports

Bata, Django clash in semifinals

- Joey Villar -
Efren "Bata" Reyes and Earl "The Pearl" Strickland pulled off contrasting victories yesterday to arrange an All-Filipino and All-American semifinals in the US-RP 9-Ball Challenge at the Metropolis Mall in Alabang, Muntinlupa.

Reyes bounced back from a 7-11 loss to Strickland the other day with an emphatic 11-6 win over countryman Francisco "Django" Bustamante while Strickland turned back fellow American Johnny Archer, 11-9, setting up a rematch in today’s semis.

Strickland ended up tied with the two local participants but emerged on top after getting the highest point of 31 on racks scored as against Reyes’ 29 and Bustamante’s 28. Archer ended up at the bottom after losing all of his three matches.

Strickland takes on Archer while Reyes squares off with Bustamante today which starts at 12 noon. The final is set later in the day, staking the top purse of $20,000.

With his confidence boosted by his two wins over Archer and Strickland, Bustamante rolled two straight racks but miscalculated a safety shot in the third game which enabled Reyes to hit a 2-9 combination that started a run that saw the Pampanga native taking a commanding 9-4 lead.

Bustamante managed to take two more racks to move closer before Reyes struck in the 16th rack to move a point away from clinching the match, 10-6. After two magical shots at the start of the 17th game, Reyes bungled on shot but Bustamante failed to cash in on that mistake with faulty shot of his own, setting Reyes up for a clean up.

ALL-FILIPINO AND ALL-AMERICAN

AMERICAN JOHNNY ARCHER

ARCHER AND STRICKLAND

BALL CHALLENGE

BUSTAMANTE

METROPOLIS MALL

REYES

STRICKLAND

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