Sports

Carlo Biado crowned world pool champion in Las Vegas

LAS VEGAS — Carlo Biado of the Philippines is the new Predator WPA Men’s World 10-Ball champion after defeating Japan’s Naoyuki Oi in their thrilling title showdown at the Rio All-Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on Sunday, March 3, (Philippine time).

Biado beat Oi 3-1 (4-1, 3-4, 4-2, 4-1) in their best of five match up.

Last week, Biado ended up runner-up to compatriot Lee Van Corteza for the Pro Billiards Series Las Vegas Open in the same venue that earned him $14,000.

Biado’s 10-ball world title also comes three years after he ended a 27-year drought for the Philippines when he won the 2021 US Open in Atlantic City.

The 40-year-old Biado, dubbed the “Black Tiger,”  dominated the first set with a 4-1 win over Oi.

“It’s overwhelming. I’m very happy that I won this match. I finally got the world 10-ball championship,” Biado said after the championship round.

“When I heard that national anthem, it felt like [shedding] tears of joy. I finally won the championship,” he continued.

In his Facebook post, Biado said:
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, learning, and sacrifice and most of all love of what you do. “

“Don’t stop dreaming. Dreaming is one of the best feeling in the world then make it happen,” he added

On the way to the finals, Biado won over Justin Sajich of Australia, 2-0, top American player Shane Van Boening, 2-0, Lin Wu Kun of Taiwan, 2-0 in the elimination round. He dispatched Taiwan’s Ko Ping-Chund in the beswt of five quarterfinals, 3-2 (4-1, 0-4, 4-1, 3-4, 4-1) and defeated Russian-born American Fedor Gorst in the semis, 3-1 (1-4, 4-3, 4-3, 4-2).

The 2024 WPA Predator 10-Ball Championship pitted the world’s 64 best-ranked players. Biado is the only Filipino entry in the tournament.

Biado thus become the most accomplished Filipino billiards player of the current generation reinforcing the Filipinos’ dominant hold of the sport continuing the legacy of Filipino legends Efren Reyes and Django Bustamante.

In the closely contested second set, Oi edged the Filipino 4-3, leveling the championship match at 1-all.

Biado, however, staged a remarkable comeback, clinching the third and fourth sets, 4-2, 4-1, to secure the champion’s trophy, a gold medal, and the top purse of $75,000 (roughly P4.2 million).

Oi settled for the $45,000 runner-up prize.

In a statement to the Predator Pro Billiards Series, Biado expressed his joy, saying, “I’m overwhelmed, I’m very very happy to finally get the World 10-Ball championship, I want to thank God for this wonderful victory.”

He dedicated his victory to his wife, acknowledging her unwavering support. A photo posted on the Predator Pro Billiards Series official Facebook page captured Biado placing his gold medal around his wife’s neck.

Biado faced tough competition on his way to the finals.

In the semifinals, Biado rebounded from a 1-4 first-set loss to Russian-born American player Fedor Gorst, claiming the next three sets (4-3, 4-2, 4-2), to arrange a title showdown with Oi. The latter, in turn, survived a thrilling five-set match against Denis Grabe of Estonia (4-2, 3-4, 3-4, 4-2, 4-0).

Biado also escaped with a 3-2 win (4-1, 0-4, 4-1, 3-4, 4-1) over seasoned Chinese Taipei pool player Ko Ping Chung in the quarterfinals after securing a 3-0 shutout victory over Jung-Lin Chang of Chinese Taipei.
Biado boasts an impressive resume, securing championship titles in the 2017 World 9-Ball, 2017 World Games 9-Ball singles, 2021 US Open Pool Championships, and the 2022 WPA World Team 10-Ball Championships alongside Johann Chua and Rubilen Amit. His collection includes three gold medals, two silvers, and three bronzes from previous Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, along with a bronze from the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games.

Another Filipino, Chezka Centeno, secured the Las Vegas Open women’s title.

Other Predator Pro Billiards Series champions included Chie Yu-Chou (PBA women showdown) and Chieh-Yu Chou and Jung-Lin Chang (Apex mixed doubles)