MANILA, Philippines – If it were up to him, Efren “Bata” Reyes would have loved to play in the Olympics.
The international billiards icon admitted a stint in the quadrennial showpiece is the only thing missing in his legendary career and said his sport could deliver the Philippines the elusive Olympic gold medal.
“I’m already old, what more do I have to achieve? Nothing else. I’ve long wanted to play in the Olympics but it didn’t happen,” Reyes said in Filipino.
Cue sports bodies – among them the World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association and the World Confederation of Billiards – have tried over the years to have billiards included in the Olympic lineup.
However, they have been denied repeatedly, including in the upcoming 2020 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.
“We still don’t have a gold medal in the Olympics, but we probably would have won one in billiards,” Reyes said.
Reyes added he had a good chance of capturing an Olympic gold medal when he was still at the top of his game.
“I think I still have an advantage back then.”
Although already 65, Reyes continues the billiards grind as he is set to fly to the USA to compete in tournaments in June.
But he bared his old age has slowed him down.
“My hands hurt, my eyesight is already poor. There are plenty of tournaments I wasn’t able to join. It has become hard for me,” Reyes said. – Rappler.com