Former world champions Efren “Bata” Reyes and Alex Pagulayan have been invited to play in the 2017 Accu-Stats Make it Happen One-Pocket Invitational to be held in June at the Sandcastle Billiards in Edison, New Jersey , United States.
Reyes and Pagulayan are included in the eight top players in the world selected by the organizers.
The 62-year-old Reyes known as The Magician will be defending his crown for the third time.
He ruled the 2015 edition where he beat American Danny Smith then topped the 2016 tournament by blasting another American in Shane Van Boening.
For his part, Pagulayan got a slot by virtue of his 2016 Derby City Classic Master of the Table title.
Joining the two Filipino pool kings are Van Boening (No. 1 US player), Jayson Shaw (2016 Player of the Year), Billy Thorpe (2017 Derby City Classic One-Pocket Champion) and Josh Roberts (One-Pocket specialist).
The organizers will shoulder all expenses including the airfare, lodging and entry fees of all eight players.
The tournament employs a round-robin format with best-of-five each game.
The top two players after the round robin will advance to the championship round.
The organizers will break a tie via a playoff.
Reyes and Pagulayan are both looking for their first title this year.
Pagulayan settled for the runner-up honors in the 2017 Derby City Classic One Pocket held in January in Indiana while Reyes wound up eighth in the same tournament.
Meanwhile, Chezka Centeno, Rubilen Amit and Iris Ranola failed to advance to the knockout stage of the 2017 Yaqi Group Cup Chinese Pool World Championship held in Yushan, China.
Centeno succumbed to Bai Go of China (1-7) and Chihiro Kawahara of Japan (6-7) in Group A while Amit bowed to Siming Chen of China (5-7) and Kelly Fisher of Great Britain (5-7) in Group B.
Ranola lost to Klaudia Djajalie of Malaysia (4-7) and Fisher (6-7) also in Group B.
EMIL C. NOGUERA