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Tiebreaker Times

2021 SEA Games

SEA Games: Johann Chua catches biggest break, outlasts Biado for gold

Johann Chua finally pocketed gold in the Southeast Asian Games.

The 29-year-old cue artist bagged his first-ever Games gold with a 9-7 win over compatriot Carlo Biado in the men’s 9-ball pool singles, Wednesday at the Ha Dong Gymnasium in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Chua, who won bronze in the 2019 SEA Games in the doubles event of the said discipline with his final opponent, took advantage of an uncharacteristic miscue from Biado to take the 7-5 win, and from there just rolled on with the alternate break format working in his favor.

“Sobra and kaba ko. First time ko lumaban sa finals dito sa SEA Games. Hindi ako maka-get over. Iba talaga pag flag and country,” said Chua, 29, who fell on his knees after the winning shot and gave Biado, his roommate here, a big bear hug. He then waved to the crowd.

“Nung sumablay si Carlo, sabi ko sa sarili ko, akin na ito. Sobra ang nginig ng kamay ko. Pero gustong-gusto ko makuha ‘yung gold. The best ka, God,” said the new SEA Games champion.

“Nag-bibiruan nga kami kagabi sa kwarto ni Carlo, sabi ko babalian na kita at pag humilik ka gigilitan na kita sa leeg. Sobra close kami niyan. Masaya na kasi kami kasi sure gold nga para sa Pilipinas,” he said.

Biado had a golden chance to clean up the final rack after a series of good shots from the two Filipinos, but a miss on the eight-ball saw Chua taking the gold.

“Sumablay talaga. Pero parang alam ko na si Johann ang mananalo kasi bago pa mag-SEA Games napaginipan ko na siya ang nag-champion,” said Biado, who won a 9-ball men’s bronze medal in tandem with Chua in the 2019 games in Manila.

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This is the country’s 36th gold of the Games and the second of the day.

The Philippines also took the two golds at stake in 9-ball pool singles after Rubilen Amit won the women’s side on Tuesday.

Efren “Bata” Reyes absorbed a 100-55 defeat to Vietnam’s Tran Thanh Tan Nguyen and salvaged a bronze medal in men’s 1-cushion carom.

Francisco dela Cruz bowed to Quoc Tuan Pham of Vietnam in the semis of the same event 100-20 and will go home with a bronze medal.

“May chances pa tayo sa 10-ball men’s and women’s,” said Malinao, not ruling out another Chua-Biado finale in the event.

Grew to appreciate various sports from tennis to judo. True-maroon kiddo since the new millennium. Fanboy. Singer. Occasional sports writer.

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