Photo From Dragon Promotions
For the first time in pool history, a tournament pitting the champions of Europe and USA against the champions of Asia will finally take place in Manila this November 19-21 at the Resorts World Manila Casino and Hotel.
Dubbed as the Kings Cup, four players each will comprise Team East (Asia) and Team West (Europe & USA). The tournament format will follow the footsteps of the successful Queens Cup, which was also held recently in Manila. Teams will play in versatile styles including singles, doubles, triples, and quadruples of 10-ball matches.
Named captain for Team East is Efren “Bata” Reyes. He will be joined by countryman Francisco “Django” Bustamante, and Taiwanese brothers Ko Pin Yi and younger brother Ko Ping Chung. The brothers are currently ranked World # 1 and #8 respectively.
Since it is the first time that Reyes will be playing in this kind of tournament, the Filipino pool icon admits the pressure of playing at home. “Kung lalaban ako sa Pilipinas, higit na mas mataas ang inaasahan sa amin ng aking mga taga-hanga. Yung ibang mga lahi na aking makakalaban sigurado akong gustong gusto nila akong talunin sa sarili kong bansa. Alam kong isa akong target sa kanilang lahat” says Reyes. But having his compatriot and long time friend Francisco Bustamante on his team somehow eases the pressure. “Kami ni Django, marami na kaming naipanalong laban bilang isang team, kilalang kilala namin ang bawat isa. Higit na may kumpiyansa ako kung si django ang kapareha ko.”
On the other hand, Team West is also a powerhouse team composed of Finnish Mika Immonen (Team Captain), European champion Albin Ouschan of Austria, World 9 & 10-Ball Champion Darren Appleton of England, and USA’s #1 Shane Van Boening.
Asked about the tournament format and the chances of leading his team to victory against the Asian champions, Mika Immonen says he’s excited and looks forward to teaming up with Americans and go up against Efren. “It’s a very interesting format for me. And I have interesting feelings playing with an American on our team. But I think it’s going to be fun to be on the same side.” says Immonen. “Winning many events here in the Philippines in the past will definitely come in handy. The crowd can be a big factor, so maybe we can win some of the crowd to our side”, he added.
The format of the Kings Cup was an evolution of numerous team events we have produced in the past from the United States, South Korea, China, and the Philippines. The media and fans loved the Queens Cup format, and more importantly the players loved it. And that’s important for the event to be dynamic. I truly feel this is the best format there is for a team event in this sport”, said Charlie Williams, Executive Producer of the Kings Cup.
Charlie Williams, Executive Producer of the Kings Cup, says the format of the Kings Cup is an evolution of numerous team events they have produced in several countries including the Philippines. “I truly feel this is the best format there is for a team event in this sport” says Williams. “The media and the fans loved the Queens Cup format, and more importantly the players loved it.” added Williams.
“The Kings Cup is an event that has been 3 years in the making. We are really excited to announce the player selection. And we promise that no pool fan is going to be disappointed”, explained Cindy Lee, CEO of Dragon Promotions.
The Kings Cup will be hosted by the award winning Resorts World Manila Casino & Hotel and produced by Dragon Promotions. Other partners of the event are Rasson Table, Andy Cloth, Viking Cue, and Cyclop Balls. Pool & Billiard Magazine, and Billiards Digest are also co-sponsors.