Efren 'Bata' Reyes on wearing glasses: 'Kung magsasalamin ako, titigil na akong maglaro'
Efren 'Bata' Reyes treated inmates of the NBP compound to a show. Photo courtesy of Anthony Omega/Jolly Gomez

DESPITE his deteriorating eyesight, Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes continues to defy logic with his shot-making skills and father time with his stubbornness against wearing glasses while playing billiards.

During an outreach program at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City over the weekend, the 61-year-old Reyes was asked by one inmate on whether he plans to wear eyeglasses in the future.

Reyes, who wowed inmates with exhibition exhibition games together with fellow Pinoy pool legend Francisco ‘Django’ Bustamante, had a straight response.

“Kung magsasalamin ako, titigil na akong maglaro,” said Reyes, as quoted by the inmate.

When asked why, Reyes said having glasses will only affect his concentration during his play, a similar reason why the Filipino billiards superstar refused to wear false teeth or pustiso in tournaments.

“Istorbo lang daw sa laro,” said Reyes to the inmate.

Reyes, however, admitted to the inmate that his vision is no longer as sharp as it used to be, a big reason why he has not won any major tournaments in recent memory.

“Hirap na daw siya lalo na kapag malayo ‘yung mga tira,” said the inmate, quoting Reyes.

Reyes and Bustamante were at the NBP compound on Saturday for the Jail Sports Outreach Program made possible by the Philippine Sports Commission and the Sports and Recreational Office of the NBP.

The two Filipino legends played against inmates who won in tournaments inside the prison in two separate sites. As the two walked from one place to another, Reyes and Bustamante also accommodated several autograph requests, and signed billiards tables they spotted along the way.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @reubensports