By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Billiards icon Efren “Bata” Reyes and reigning US Open Pool champion Carlo Biado headline the Philippine billiards and snooker team competing in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam in May.
The Billiards Sports Confederation of the Philippines (BSCP) announced this on social media over the weekend where they will send eight athletes in the delayed biennial meet.
The 67-year-old Reyes will compete in the 1-cushion carom where he seeks to improve his bronze-medal finish at the 2019 edition held in Manila, as well as in the 3-cushion event.
Biado, for his part, will see action in the men’s 10-ball and 9-ball singles.
Rubilen Amit and Chezka Centeno will also be defending their titles as they are both lined up in the women’s 10-ball and 9-ball singles.
Amit clinched the 10-ball singles gold at the expense of Centeno while Centeno won the 9-ball gold medal over Amit in the previous edition.
Also lined up are Johann Chua in the men’s 10-ball and 9-ball singles, Alvin Barbero and Jefrey Roda both in the men’s snooker singles and 6-red singles, and Francisco Dela Cruz in the 1-cushion and 3-cushion carom.
The PH team dominated the sport in the 2019 edition after bagging four gold, three silver and five bronze medals. They hoped to eclipse this against their strong counterparts, particularly host Vietnam, which won one gold, three silver and one bronze in the last meet.
Amit couldn’t contain her excitement following the lineup announcement after the pandemic hampered her competitions and delayed the staging of the SEAG, which was originally scheduled December last year.
“After two years, we will finally be competing again! I miss representing the Philippines!” Amit wrote on her Facebook account.