Billiards Sharks Billiards Association Chief Operating Officer Mark Orendain, Chief Executive Officer and founder Hadley Mariano and Commissioner Chino Trinidad attend the PSA Forum.

Young billiards stars get break in Sharks pro league

May 16, 2024 Ed Andaya 228 views
Sharks Billiard Association

EVERYTHING is set for the staging of the inaugural Sharks Billiards Association — the country’s first-ever professional pool league — on August, 2024.

This ws announced by Sharks Billiards Association Chief Executive Officer and founder Hadley Mariano, Chief Operating Officer Mark Orendain, and Commissioner Chino Trinidad during the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex last Tuesday.

Mariano, son of long-time billiards patron Perry Mariano, said four teams from the National Capital Region and the country’s three major islands of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao are expected to participate in the prestigious competition aimed at promoting professional billiards.

“The country’s finest players and rising stars will make up the composition of the pioneering teams for our inaugural tournament, which will run up for three months,” said Mariano during the weekly forum presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Olympic Committee, MILO, Smart/PLDT and the leading sports entertainment gateway in the country ArenaPlus.

Mariano, however, refused to divulge the names of the players who have already committed to see action in the tournament.

“Marami akong nakikitang magagaling na mga players na hindi nabibigyan ng pagkakataon. Wala silang sponsor, wala silang manager at hindi makasali sa mga tournament. But they are also good players, kaya sila ang gusto kong unahin sa SBA,” said Mariano, adding these players will be given their respective salaries and contracts.

Trinidad, on the other hand, said the coming professional billiards league will adopt a regional format.

“Di ba ang ang gusto natin is may regionalistic flavor, so sabi ko ibigay na natin yan sa tatlong regions natin Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao,” said Trinidad., a former broadcaster and commissioner of the defunct Philippine Basketball League.

Trinidad said the fourth team is reserved for what he refers to as the “epicenter of billiards” in the country.

“Pag-uusapan pa namin kung saanba talaga ang sentro ng billiards dito sa atin. Ito bang NCR na kahit saan ka magpunta ay may nagbi-bilyar or Pampanga, na birth place ni Efren “Bata” Reyes,” added Trinidad.

“Kung saan man, super-excited akong masimulan ito dahil naniniwala ako na collectively, maibabangon ulit natin ang Philippine billiards.”

According Trinidad, five players will initially compose each team, before increasing its numbers to six and eight in the succeeding seasons.

Tournament format will have two teams facing each other in a week and involves competition in singles, doubles, and 5-on-5, with corresponding point system.