Django rallies to beat Taiwanese foe

Posted on February 27, 2012

FILIPINO POOL wizard Francisco “Django” Bustamante squeaked past Taiwanese Pin Yi-ko to win the Philippine Bigtime Billiards (PBB) Face Off Series late Saturday at the Pagcor Airport Casino in Parañaque City.

The 48-year-old pool legend showed vintage form to pull off a come-from-behind win against Ko, 9-7, in the event dubbed “Philippines versus Asia,” jointly organized by the Mega Sports World and BRKHRD Corp. and aired live over Solar Sports, Sky Channel 70 and Destiny Channel 34, and also aired worldwide through the Internet at and

The Tarlac City cue master, one of the top players of sportsman/businessman Aristeo “Putch” Puyat, the acknowledged Philippine Billiards Godfather, trailed, 7-5, before securing the next four racks to lift Team Philippines into a 1-all deadlock against Team Asia.

The two-time World Junior Champion Ko first took a 3-1 lead then stretched it to 6-4 before veteran Bustamante fought back.

“At the start of the match I was so nervous when Ko took a 3-1, 6-4 to 7-5 lead,” said Bustamante, who reigned in the 2010 WPA World Pool Championships (World 9-Ball) in Doha, Qatar, defeating Taiwan’ “The Little Monster” Kuo Po-cheng, 13-7, in the final.

“However, I didn’t lose hope because of the winner’s break format.

Maybe it can turn around the situation but I need to play solid,” he added.

Last Feb. 18, Ko downed Filipino pool maestro Efren “Bata” Reyes, 9-4, for the first win of Team Asia in the Philippine Bigtime Billiards 2012. -- Marlon Bernardino