Reyes clinches 10-Ball title over Gomez
- Joey Villar, Nelson Beltran () - September 19, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Efren “Bata” Reyes, a pool great who has won practically all the major tournaments in the world, was champ once again.

Reyes just improved his legacy as he rallied from a 1-5 deficit and beat out heartbreak kid Roberto Gomez, 10-9, in a classic finale of the 10th Predator World 10-Ball Championship at The Block of SM North EDSA in Quezon City yesterday.

In a match that boiled down to one final rack for all the marbles, Reyes outmaneuvered Gomez to complete a championship run from the losers’ bracket.

Earlier, Reyes outlasted Jeff de Luna, 9-7, in the quarterfinals then routed American Rodney Morris, 9-5, in the semifinals.

Gomez went unbeaten from the double-knockout eliminations until running to the mighty wall that was Reyes.

Committing costly mistakes in the crunch, the 32-year-old Zamboangueño saw his litany of heartbreaks grow – from the finals of the 2007 World Pool Championship and the recent World Cup of Pool in partnership with Dennis Orcullo.

“It’s hard to calm down our nerves. I’m sure, we both felt it and it showed towards the end as we couldn’t control our shots anymore. Luck was on my side in the end,” Reyes humbly said.

“I looked forward to play Efren in the finals. I didn’t want to play Morris as the pressure would be heavier for me. I did my best but Efren still emerged better,” said Gomez.

A poor safety on the blue 2 doomed Gomez.

Reyes sank it on a bank shot and had Gomez conceding when he pocketed the 9-ball on a delicate cut to the left corner pocket to thunderous applause from his fans.

“It’s over. That last ball was easy shot for Reyes. He’d made lots of tougher shots earlier in the match,” said Gomez.

The eventual runner-up displayed superb pocketing but had poor luck on his breaks.

He had a dry break in the hill-hill finish.

Without a clear opening on the yellow 1, Reyes opted to push. Gomez gambled in taking the shot, knocking it in but finding the cue ball far from an ideal position for the blue 2.

Gomez then miscalculated a safety, leaving the table for the taking for Reyes.

From 1-5 down, Reyes rallied and drew even at 7-all on a surge highlighted by combination shots on the ninth and 13th racks.

Reyes rolled ahead at 8-7 as he beat Gomez in their exchange of safeties.

Tension ran high a little on the 16th rack as Reyes was irked by an early foul warning by the referee.

Bakit nagmamadali kayong tumawag ng foul. Eh, may extension pa ko,” said Reyes.

Reyes eventually fouled on a jump shot, and Gomez cleared the table to force the hill-hill match.

AMERICAN RODNEY MORRIS BALL CHAMPIONSHIP DENNIS ORCULLO EFREN GOMEZ PREDATOR WORLD QUEZON CITY REYES ROBERTO GOMEZ WORLD CUP OF POOL
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