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Reyes downs Appleton, moves to Predator finals

(The Philippine Star) - August 5, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Efren “Bata” Reyes continued to flash vintage form, beating current world No. 1 Darren Appleton of England, 200-124, to reach the finals of the 2012 Predator World 14.1 tournament in New York Friday.

The Filipino icon has been dishing out solid games in his first World 14.1 tournament, staying unbeaten throughout six days of competitions featuring the world’s leading players where he posted a record 1250 balls made in the stamina-testing event.

John Schmidt, a former US Open 9-Ball winner, trounced Ralph Eckert of Germany, 200-60, in the semis to clinch the other finals berth.

“This is a big deal to me. I’ll be honest, I want to win this more than any title I’ve ever won or played for in my life,” said Schmidt.

Reyes earlier demolished former world champion Mika Immonen of Finland, 200-87, seizing control early despite missing what had looked like to be an easy shot during the opening rack.

Immonen failed to pounce on that Reyes’ miscue and missed four balls later, enabling the Filipino ace to build a 140+ ball lead from there and roll into the quarterfinals.

Ranged against US champion Corey Deuel in the Last 8, Reyes didn’t flinch and pocketed 1050 balls to stay undefeated and set up a semis clash with Appleton, who crushed France’s Stephan Cohen in their side of the duel.

Despite having not played straight pool in decades, Reyes still held his ground against a slew of talented rivals while proving he’s the world’s most creative player.

“Efren likes to win new big tournaments the very first time he plays in them. That’s why he has such big historical event titles if you look at his history of wins. It’s amazing as much as he has done, he still finds the motivation,” said Charlie Williams, a fellow pro player on tour.

“He is absolutely my favorite player to watch. I just love watching him play, whatever game he is shooting,” said Tim Malloy, a long time pool fan from New York.

CHARLIE WILLIAMS COREY DEUEL DARREN APPLETON OF ENGLAND EFREN JOHN SCHMIDT MIKA IMMONEN OF FINLAND NEW YORK NEW YORK FRIDAY PREDATOR WORLD REYES
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