I've been enjoying the last week of my sembreak watching men do amazing tricks with sticks and balls. The World Pool Championships, held for the first time here in the Philippines, are about to come to a close, but the usual names are nowhere to be seen. The Big Guns, the likes of Efren "Bata" Reyes, Francisco "Django" Bustamante and Alex Pagulayan failed to bring their A game at home court. Pagulayan crashed out early, followed by noticeably shaky Django and Bata. Good news is, new Filipino talents have been given the chance to shine. I watched Jeff De Luna charm the crowd last night, with his barely contained energy evidenced by that MASSIVE break. At 22, he has plenty of time to mature and learn to harness that electric buzz he always seems to bring to the table.
As I write this the lone Filipino left, virtual unknown Ronato Alcano, is fighting to get into the finals. If De Luna is fire, Alcano is icy cool when he plays. He just beat last year's champ the wunderkind Wu Chia Ching. If Alcano is succesful in beating China's Li He Wen, I hope he bears well the weight of this country's expectations in tomorrow's championship match.