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    'Bata' tempers gold medal expectations in carom. Here's why

    May 17, 2022
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    Pool superstar Efren "Bata" Reyes says his teammates have a better shot at the title.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano

    HANOI – Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes on Monday said he was just glad to get past the quarterfinals of the men’s one-cushion carom in the Southeast Asian Games as he wasn’t able to train for the event due to the pandemic.

    Reyes won his first match against Suriya Suwannasingh of Thailand, 65-58, to assure himself a bronze in the event known in the Philippines as ‘karambola.’

    LOOK: Efren 'Bata' Reyes gets rock-star treatment in Vietnam

    The 67-year-old pool superstar, however, tempered expectations as the world watches his title bid.

    He wasn’t able to practice on a carom table due to restrictions during the pandemic.

    “Masama,” said Reyes. “Dalawang taon ako hindi nakapaglaro ng karambola. Sarado ‘yung Game Ball (training venue at Rizal Memorial Sports Complex), wala kaming pagpapraktisan.”

    Reyes has already moved up to the medal rounds with the win, where he will look to improve on his bronze medal finish in the 2019 games.

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    But Reyes played down his chances, saying his teammates have a better odds of winning the gold medal.

    “Abangan niyo ‘yung kapwa kong ka-team. Mas maganda ang bracket nila. Malamang sila, panalo sila,” said the billiards legend.

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    Pool superstar Efren "Bata" Reyes says his teammates have a better shot at the title.
    PHOTO: Jerome Ascano
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