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Benok takes a cue from Bata

Regalario: Hoping to become next Bata Reyes.

THERE’S a new kid on the block and the local billiards community is now finding out how good he can get.

His name?

Bernie “Benok” Regalario.

A mainstay of the Wilde Blu Juniors Club, Regalario made it to the semifinals of the 2021 GAB 10-Ball Open billiards tournament, winning over veteran campaingners Lee Van Corteza and Johann Chua before losing to Carlo Biado in the Final Four.

And this early, Regalario is already drawing comparisons with the “Magician” himself, Efren “Bata” Reyes.

Magandang inspirasyon po sa akin yun maikumpara sa kanya (Reyes). Idol ko sya. Kaya naman lalo ako nagpupursige, lalo sa training,” said Regalario during the “Usapang Sports on Air” by the Tabloids Organization in Philippine Sports (TOPS) via Zoom recently.

Basta tuloy-tuloy lang ang ensayo kahit may pandemic. Pursigido talaga ako marating yun mga narating ng mga idolo ko,” added Regalario, who also topped the first Wilde Blu Juniors 110-Ball Challenge last Jan. 31.

Nicknamed Benok, the 16-year-old pride of Parañaque City credited his father for introducing him to billiards.

May sarili po kaming bilyaran at tinuturuan ako ng father ko simula 10 years pa lang ako. Dati po siyang billiards player din kaya madali akong natuto,” explained Regalario, during the weekly public service program sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) and Games and Amusements Board (GAB).

He considers the GAB 10-Ball Open tournament as one of his baptisms of fire.

Kasali po dun yung mga kilalang world champions dito po sa Pilipinas.. Abot 64 players kami. Umabot ako hanggang semifinals at nakalaban ko po ay si Carlo “The Black Tiger” Biado. Tinalo nya po ako 8-3,” recalled Regalario.

Asked about his plans this year, Regalario said he is hoping to try out for a slot in the national team in the coming Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi,Vietnam later this year.

Regalario was joined in the session by Leslie “AnitoKid” Mapugay, director of the Makati Pool Players Association and founder of Wilde Blu Juniors Club.

Publication Source :    People's Tonight
Ed Andaya
Sports Editor - People's Tonight