Efren "Bata" Reyes' brilliance on a felt table is so mind-blowing to his peers that, at his peak, it bordered on sorcery
That's why memorabilia seekers who want to own a piece of Reyes, still revered in the US billiards circuit, don't mind forking over a fortune.
National coach Rodolfo Luat, Reyes' contemporary and close friend, told ABS-CBN News on Thursday that collectors in the US and Japan have expressed throughout the years their desire to acquire many of the "Magician's" accessories.
Reyes' cue sticks, for instance, are a hot commodity. Some are willing to pay thousands, especially the stick he used to win a tournament championship.
According to Luat, one stick Reyes used for 20 years drew the interest of one American collector who was willing to buy it for $50,000. Reyes bought the stick for P200.
On eBay, several cue sticks with Reyes' engraved signature are also being auctioned off.
To what extreme will hobbyists go just to grab a hold of anything that Reyes owns?
Luat said that a Japanese collector was once keen on buying a pair of Reyes' pants that he wore in a tournament that he won.
When ABS-CBN News tried to confirm the story to Reyes, he neither confirmed nor denied Luat's story.
Reyes is currently in the country preparing for the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur next month.
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