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'TOO YOUNG TO DIE' Efren 'Bata' Reyes shrugs off fake news over his death: 'Okay lang akooo'

By Girald Gaston and Mark Angelo Mañez

PHOTO: ABS-CBN News

There is no truth in the spreading news that pool legend Efren "Bata" Reyes has passed away.

Reyes' daughter, Chelo made the confirmation on Saturday morning, saying that the social media posts were misinformation only.

Chelo even uploaded a video of his father being an avid fan of NBA, watching the game between Dallas Mavericks and Milwaukee Bucks being aired on TV5.

"Okay lang ako," 66-year-old 'Bata' said on a video.

The Filipino sports community was shocked with Facebook posts about the pool icon Reyes passing away, but his family denied the claims.

"Sa mga nagse-share at nakakabasa ng mga lumalabas na balitang patay na si Tatay, huwag po kayo maniwala, fake news lang po yan. Diyos na bahala sa inyong nagpapakalat ng ganyang balita,” said Chelo.

She even stated that Reyes just finished eating his breakfast when she posted the video.

Reyes has endeared himself to millions of Filipinos and pool fanatics around the world with his easy going personality. He has won numerous local and international tournaments – the biggest of which were the eight-ball (2004) and nine-ball (1999) world titles.

His popularity transcended even on the field of entertainment as he appeared on the hit movie Pakners with the late Fernando Poe Jr.

Reyes also represented the country as a member of the national team, winning a bronze medal in the 2002 Busan Asian Games, and has been an inspiration to some of the younger pool players.

One of them is Rubilen Amit, a two-time ten-ball world champion.

When news broke out about Reyes, Amit said she quickly reached out to the family for confirmation, and when she learned it was a hoax, she felt bad and disappointed to those who spread the news.

“Mga walang magawa e,” said the 39-year-old Amit, a many-time gold medalist in the Southeast Asian Games. “Ang dami ding nagtatanong sa akin about the fake news kaya… talagang mga salbahe ang gumawa.”


RELATED ARTICLES: Manila Bulletin, SPIN PH