By JONAS TERRADO
The Philippines was assured of another gold in the 31st Southeast Asian Games after Carlo Biado and Johann Chua won their semifinal matches Wednesday to arrange an all-Filipino final in the men’s 9-ball singles.
Biado reasserted his mastery over Singapore’s Aloysius Yapp with a 9-7 victory while Chua prevailed over Singapore’s Lian Han Toh at the Ha Dong Gymnasium in Hanoi, Vietnam.
After settling for bronze as teammates in the men’s 9-ball doubles in the 2019 edition held in Manila, Biado and Chua will face off for the gold Thursday in a race-to-9 affair.
Going for his third gold in the regional meet is Biado, who took the men’s 9-ball doubles in the 2015 Singapore Games with Warren Kiamco and the men’s 9-ball singles in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur meet.
Chua, the 29-year-old from Bacolod City, has never won a SEA Games gold.
Biado made his way to the final at the expense of Yapp, the same player he defeated to win last year’s US Open Pool Championship in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
But unlike their previous battle when he had to rally back from an 8-3 deficit to win 13-8, Biado was in command right from the get go even if Yapp tried to tie things up.
Meanwhile, Chua led 3-1 at the start then claimed six of the last eight racks to secure the victory.