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As Efren Reyes’ generation fades, PH billiards banks on ‘bata’ movement

As the legends of Philippine cue sports see fewer and further action in between, a youth movement has been taking shape over the past few years.

ABS-CBN caught up with 3 of those names -- Chezka Centeno, Johann Chua and Jeffrey Roda -- during one of their practices in Manila well ahead of their respective appointments in the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur.

The billiards events officially begin on Tuesday.

Chezka Centeno, 18

Chezka Centeno started playing billiards when she was 5. Dominic Menor, ABS-CBN News
For Albert Centeno, the idea behind putting up his own billiards hall was to serve as a source of income for his family. He didn’t imagine his new place would be a jump-off point for someone with ambitions of becoming one of the country’s top players — his own daughter, Chezka.

She was 5 when Albert went into the pool business. When Chezka played, she needed to stand on an empty soft-drinks crate so she could reach the table surface. It didn’t take long before Albert realized the girl’s interest in billiards was more than just a passing fancy.

Johann Chua, 25

Elite player and gym rat are phrases that don’t usually go together in one sentence in the world of Philippine billiards, but Johann Chua knows that in today’s game becoming the latter is key to developing into the former.

“Iba na rin ang tulong ng fitness sa iyo. Iba talaga iyong panahon (dati), wala namang ganoon. Iyong mga bagong generation ngayon, maraming preparation sa lahat ng aspeto,” Chua says.

Jeffrey Roda, 17

A lot of “pos” and “opos” are thrown in the interview, a gesture of respect that’s second nature to Pinoy teenagers such as Jeffrey Roda.

On the pool table and anything to do with his game, it’s the writer who takes a bow.

Author: Dominic Menor, ABS-CBN News
Full Article: http://news.abs-cbn.com/sports/08/22/17/as-efren-reyes-generation-fades-ph-billiards-banks-on-bata-movement

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