It used to be the Philippines against the world in billiards, but that was long ago.
Americans, Europeans and Asians are without a doubt great cue players, but could not match the magic of Pinoy pool sharks during the glory days of Philippine billiards in the last two decades.
But the glitter of Pinoy cue masters is slowly fading, affected by a weak economy and politics in the sport. The legends of pool are still playing for the country and their livelihood, but the dreaded Pinoy sharks are not as sharp as they used to be as other countries have caught up.
Perry Mariano, a sports patron particularly in billiards, is pushing the panic button to revitalize a sport that is close to the heart of gaming Pinoys.
Mariano has urged Putch Puyat, Isaac Belmonte and Jonathan Sy of Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines, along with new member officials Eric Salud, Larry Lim, Jojo Sanchez, Doc Mon Aguirre and Perry’s son Hadley Mariano to revive the dying sport of billiards through the newly established SHARKS Billiards League.
SHARKS was launched in November of 2022, with a vision of uplifting the sport and create amateur and professional leagues.
“Pool is a sport that Filipinos dominate. Sadly, this is slowly being forgotten as we no longer have future players to continue what legends and champions have started and put an indelible mark in the world,” former collegiate varsity billiards (La Salle Greenhills) player Hadley Mariano said. “SHARKS, with the help of BMPAP, wants to bring back the Philippines as the mecca of pool and re-establish our dominance. SHARKS is the future of Philippine billiards.”
Tournament Director Hadley is optimistic that SHARKS can produce the likes of Efren ‘Bata Reyes, Francisco ‘Djanggo’ Bustamante, Lee Van Corteza, Dennis Orcullo and Amang Parica, among others, from among the abundance of new and young talents that can harness their skills at the SHARKS’ pen.