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The Lion, Almost Win Or The Volcano?

Take your pick, if you were in the shoes of the BSCP who would you choose? The Lion, Almost Win Or The Volcano? Those are the obvious choice if we look at how the geniuses tasked to organized players to represent the Philippines in the 2007 Guinness Asian 9 Ball Tour.

Who is Jeffrey "Jeff Bata" de Luna? He is a pool player from Manila, Philippines earning the nickname “Jeff Bata” for a playing style similar to that of his mentor Efren “Bata” Reyes. This is not to belittle Jeffrey, he maybe a “rising star” as some liepapers errr newspaper wanted him portrayed and maybe he is one. What does he bring in the table to earn him a spot in the Guinness Asia 9-Ball Tour in Shanghai, China replacing Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan? Well, he almost won in the 2006 Asian Games in Qatar losing to compatriot Antonio Gabica thus earning him a silver medal.

In comparison, Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan player rankings as posted by AZBilliards.com:

AzB Player Rank: 14Change from last week: 2
2007 Winnings: $20,850.00
2007 Tournament Results:
$750.00 5th place Stan James Canadian 9-Ball Tour Stop
$4,000.00 3rd place Predator World 10-Ball Championship
$600.00 9th place Seminole Florida Pro Tour Stop
$12,000.00 1st place World Summit of Pool
$3,500.00 3rd place Guinness 9-Ball Tour Stop

2006 Winnings: $89,875.00
View 2006 Tournament Results
2005 Winnings: $80,824.00
View 2005 Tournament Results
2004 Winnings: $118,183.00
View 2004 Tournament Results
2003 Winnings: $94,513.00
View 2003 Tournament Results
2002 Winnings: $32,230.00
View 2002 Tournament Results
2001 Winnings: $27,425.00
View 2001 Tournament Results
2000 Winnings: $26,628.00
View 2000 Tournament Results

It is obvious that what Fajardo stated that to be part of the team is not a “right” but a “privilege” may just be a “little bit” of a stretch. Con artist in the Philippine bureaucracy always use this excuse to “justify” and “rationalize” their questionable decision. I am not saying that the BSCP officials are corrupt or trying to con players but there were reports of corruption (yeah right as if that surprises anyone) in most sport bodies in the Philippines affecting the morale of players.

OK, granted that they wanted to project a “good image” of a Filipino in the world arena but somehow I just can’t reconcile or see the logic of that “policy” when I see something seems awry at their choices. The four man team that will represent the Philippines for the 2007 Guiness 9 Ball are 2007 Oslo, Norway Battle of Scandinavia champion Roberto “Pinoy Superman” Gomez, 2nd BSCP National Champion Lee Vann “The Slayer” Corteza, Silver Medalist Jeffrey “Jeff Bata” de Luna and reigning double world champion Renato “Volcano” Alcano.

I believe that one is innocent until proven guilty but in terms of Filipino “image” enhancing players, a comedian or an accused rapist/child abuser which one do you think has a better chance of projecting a “better” image? The comedian as seen on the you tube video was well liked and applauded contrary to the claims of Fajardo and what the international community is saying at the AZ Billiards Forum.

A quote from the Inquirer article by Margaux Ortiz titled “ALCANO POST BAIL ! “ should give us a glimpse on the “privilege” player that Fajardo and his ilk “organized” to “represent the image of the Filipinos” in the tournament:

In a three-page resolution, Assistant City Prosecutor Corazon Romano earlier said she found probable cause to indict Alcano for rape and for violating Section 5 of Republic Act 7610 or the Anti-Child Abuse Law.

“Complainant emphatically narrated that she was sexually molested by her father and when she described all the incidents that transpired, she did it with her right sense as it could be,” Romano said.

She added that no woman in her right mind would admit to having been raped unless the charges were true, citing a previous ruling of the Supreme Court.“Settled is the rule that a candid narration by a victim of how she was raped bears the earmarks of credibility,” Romano said.

In a complaint-affidavit which she filed in March, Alcano’s daughter said she was molested thrice by her father in 2006.

Following the filing of the case against him, Alcano was ordered by a Quezon City regional trial court to stay at least 1,000 meters away from his daughter.

Alcano maybe innocent and he has to have his day in court, but what if he is found guilty? Does that mean the “image” of a Filipino is a rapist and a Filipino father is an incest pervert abusing his child? One rapist does not define a whole race but to use the logic of Fajardo in wanting to project the Filipino image of a serious pool player is just dumb and stupid. If the BSCP is really concerned with “images” then would they rather stick to a comedian that will stay a comedian or one that maybe convicted as a rapist and child abuser in the future? All I can say is the sport does not need ignoramuses to organize the players and athletes and those tasked should be above board with clear guidelines and criteria in the selection process.

Related article: No Clowns Allowed in Pool

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