By Nick Giongco
Save for a few players, the country’s billiards artists are relegated to just conjuring moves mentally and unable to hone their skills owing to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Billiards and snookers secretary-general Robert Mananquil said the lockdown has left many practitioners without any alternatives but to wait before the government eases up on some safety measures.
“We are just waiting for protocol from our AF (Asian federation) and IF (international federation) for advice,” said Mananquil.
Actually, the year 2020 had offered little for the sport in terms of competitions apart from the usual professional events.
“The busy schedule is in 2021 when we are scheduled to compete in the Asian Indoors (in Thailand) and the Southeast Asian Games (in Vietnam),” said Mananqiil.
“The World Games (a competition featuring non-Olympic sports) was
scheduled in 2021 in Alabama but it has been moved to 2022 since the Tokyo Olympics is taking place,” he said.
Carlo Biado is the 9-ball defending champion in the World Games and was priming up to defend his crown.
When the world came to grips with the coronavirus, just about everything lined up or being planned for 2020 vanished in smoke.
“No pro tournaments. We are waiting if our mother organization will provide financial help just like what’s happening in other sports like football,” Mananquil said.
Top players like Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes and a few other big names do have chances to shake off rust simply because they have their own tables or have relatives that own one.
“Other than these players, the majority can’t play because the playing venues remain closed.”
In short, the local billiards community is behind the eight ball.