Aside from presenting the current generation of Filipino athletes to the audience of the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games on Saturday, the organizers also introduced the legendary icons of sports in the country to pay respects to them.
During the opening ceremony, eight legendary Filipino athletes carried the South East Asian Games Federation, they’re Lydia De Vega, 7 time SEA Games gold medalist, Akiko Thomson, 15-time SEA Games gold medalist swimmer Eric Buhain, 4-time PBA MVP and SEA Games gold medalist Alvin Patrimonio, 4-time bowling world champion Bong Coo, 4-time world eight ball champion Efren “Bata” Reyes, 2-time SEA Games medalist and Olympic silver medalist boxer Mansueto “Onyok” Velasco, and 6-time bowling world champion Rafael “Paeng” Nepomuceno.
But most of the netizens noticed Efren Bata, also known as the Magician who’s still going to compete for his possible last participation in the SEA Games as the representative of the Philippines for three-cushion carom billiards.
A netizen even made a viral post dedicated to the legendary billiard player, saying that she “screamed” when she saw Reyes on TV.
“Ya’ll don’t know how much I screamed when Sir Efren “Bata” Reyes was shown on tv, still with that very familiar humble smile of his It was my dream to see him play live, even once. This legend will forever have my respect,” netizen @chireen818 wrote.
“And still competing at 65 years old despite his shoulder pains! His passion for the sport is unmatched One last dance Sir Efren,” she added.
And still competing at 65 years old despite his shoulder pains! His passion for the sport is unmatched ?❤ One last dance Sir Efren ??? pic.twitter.com/9t9q9RVffC
— chi (@chireen818) November 30, 2019
The post already reached 32,000 likes on Twitter.
In an interview, Reyes revealed that he’s going to join the 3 cushion carom to give chance to the other billiard players to show their talent in pool.
“Kung ako malalagay sa pool, paano ‘tong magagaling nating kabataan dito? ‘Pag ako naglaro, parang ayaw ko silang bigyan ng chance. Sa karambola, wala namang player.” Bata told GMA news.
Despite having problems in his right shoulder, the 65-year-old Reyes denied that he’s going to retire from billiards even after the SEA Games.
Reyes is considered the greatest living billiard player in the world after winning 70 international titles and won 14 times in the Derby City Classic.