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Reyes breaks into semis; Luat knocked out

() - September 17, 2006 - 12:00am
Filipino billiard icon Efren "Bata" Reyes stayed on a roll and in search of a third major title in a month as he whipped Korean Jeong Young-Hwa, 9-6, to reach the semifinal round of the 2006 San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour final leg at the Gran Melia Jakarta Hotel yesterday in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Just like in his conquests of Chinese Taipei’s Yang Ching Shun and local bet Roy Apanco in the group matches Friday, Reyes had a relatively easy time disposing of Jeong to advance to the semifinals against the winner of the Masaaki Tanaka-Wang Hung Hsiang match.

The projected all-Filipino final between Reyes and Rodolfo "Boy Samson" Luat, however, is no longer possible with the latter falling in an ambush to Malaysian Muhammad Zulfikri in their own quarterfinals match-up.

Zulfikri fashioned out a nail-biting 9-8 win over Luat to set up a semis encounter with Indon Ricky Yang, who topped Chinese Taipei’s Wu Chia Ching, 9-6.

However, the Philippines’ bid for a sweep of all four legs of the San Miguel Asian 9-Ball Tour stayed on track with no less than the enigmatic Reyes firmly in position to win the Jakarta leg crown.

Reyes ruled the opening leg in Ho Chi Minh before Ramil Gallego reigned supreme in Bangkok, then Luat emerged victorious in Taiwan.

Gallego and Francisco "Django" Bustamante failed to make it past the group matches in the Jakarta leg which culminates the series serving as qualifier for the World Pool Championship in November. The top 10 finishers in the San Miguel Asian 9-ball Tour Order of Merit will automatically make it to the 2006 World Pool Championship.

Reyes seemed to take Jeong lightly early on with the two players splitting the first four racks.

But that was before Reyes turned on his game face then made a run to take the win convincingly.

With the count tied at 2-all, Reyes claimed the next three racks with run-outs in the fifth and sixth racks.

From there, the two cue artists showcased their best pocketing skills as they traded rack runs until the match ended at 9-6 with the Filipino on top. 

In the group matches, Bustamante was defeated by Taiwanese Wang Hung Hsiang, 6-9, and by Chinaman Li He-Wen, 1-9.

Gallego, on the other hand, was decimated by Tanaka, 1-9. Although Gallego won his second match against Indonesian Apsi Chaniago, 9-2, he lost on points.

The semifinals and finals will be aired live on Star Sports starting at 12 p.m.

(Singapore time) today.

ALTHOUGH GALLEGO BALL TOUR BOY SAMSON BUSTAMANTE CHINAMAN LI HE-WEN CHINESE TAIPEI GALLEGO AND FRANCISCO LUAT REYES SAN MIGUEL ASIAN WORLD POOL CHAMPIONSHIP
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