Carlo Biado, Jeff De Luna fall short

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - July 2, 2019 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Filipino cuemasters Carlo Biado and Jeff De Luna settled for runner-up honors in the 2019 World Cup of Pool as they absorbed a 3-11 beating at the hands of Austrians Albin Ouschan and Mario He in the gold medal match Sunday at Morningside Arena in Leicester City.

Biado and de Luna couldn’t really get going in the race-to-11 finale and fell behind early, 2-6, allowing the in-form Ouschan and He to run away with their second crown in three years.

The victors netted $60,000 for their triumph in the annual event for doubles teams while the Pinoy aces, who were stymied by six missed pots took $30,000 for second place.

It was a sour ending for the Filipinos, who had looked good entering the championship match.

They previously beat Czech Republic’s Roman Hybler and Michal Gaveniak in the opening round, 7-6, Albania’s Klenti Kaci and Besar Spahiu in the Round-of-16, 7-5, Canada’s Alex Pagulayan and Joshua Fuller in the quarterfinals, 9-5, and the Netherland’s Niels Feijn and Marc Bijsterbosch in the semis, 9-6.

In the final reckoning against Austria, the Biado-De Luna tandem was still in the thick of things after four racks, as the protagonists took turns capitalizing on the opponents’ miscues to win sets.

But from a 2-2 count, Austria got into the groove and took the next four frames to establish separation with the Filipinos.

Biado’s 5-9 combo in the ninth frame ended the dry spell for the Filipinos. But that turned out to be the their final say as the Austrians swept the succeeding games to ice it.

“We’re a good pair. We know each other very well and we travel around the world together all year. Maybe that’s the secret,” said Ouschan of his triumphant pairing with He, which also produced a silver medal last year.

Biado settled for bridesmaid for the second time this year after finishing No. 2 in the inaugural WPA Players Championship in Las Vegas last April, conceding a close 11-12 loss to Chinese Taipei’s Kevin Cheng.

Though it fell short, Phl remains the winningest country in the World Cup of Pool with three championships (2006, 2009 and 2013)  and two second places (2010 and 2019) overall. China also has three diadems (2007, 2010 and 2018) but without a silver. 

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