Mission accomplished for PHI billiards and snooker team

Mark Escarlote on Jun 11, 2015 02:31 PM
Mission accomplished for PHI billiards and snooker team
The squad, composed of the country’s top cue artists, quietly left for Manila Thursday morning but not after making their presence felt on the pool table.

SINGAPORE --- They may be out of the spotlight and not as celebrated as other athletes sent to the 28th Southeast Asian Games, but the Philippine billiards and snooker team pocketed nine medals including three top podium finishes.

The squad, composed of the country’s top cue artists, quietly left for Manila Thursday morning but not after making their presence felt on the pool table.

Warren Kiamco and world ranked no. 1 Carlo Biado sparked the PHI’s golden streak in the men’s 9-ball doubles.

The veteran internationalist duo defeated the Vietnamese pair of Hoang Quan Do and Anh Tuan Nguyen, 9-6, in the finals last June 7 – the country’s third gold medal from that point.

Chezka Centeno, who started playing billiard at the age of five in her father’s ‘bilyaran’ in Zamboanga City using beer crates as stand to reach the pool table, became the youngest Filipina SEA Games gold medalist in history after defeating compatriot and former world pool champion Rubilen Amit in the women’s 9-ball singles gold medal round.

Dennis Orcollo followed suit in the men’s division, shooting down Myanmar’s Maung Maung 9-4 in the 9-ball championship to avenge Biado’s defeat in the semis that prevented another All-Filipino finals.

Ageless legend Efren “Bata”, the oldest PHI athlete with the age of 60, showed that he still has the magic touch as he salvaged a bronze medal he shared with another Filipino Francisco Dela Cruz in the men’s 1 cushion carom.

Michael Angelo Mengorio also bagged a bronze medal in the men’s snooker singles followed by another third place finish with partner Alvin Barbero in the men’s snooker doubles.

Centeno and Amit will again carry the PHI flag this time in the prestigious China Open at the end of this month.

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