US Open champ Biado grateful to QC Mayor Belmonte for backing billiards

US Open champ Biado grateful to QC Mayor Belmonte for backing billiards
Carlo Biado recently thanked Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte and his other supporters.

MANILA, Philippines – Newly crowned US Open Pool Champion Carlo Biado expressed gratitude to supporters of billiards in the country despite challenges brought about by the pandemic.

“I am really grateful to my wife and family, my sponsors and all of the Filipinos who continue to support me and other pool players of our country,” he said in a recent interview.

Biado also thanked organizers of local billiards tournaments and perennial supporters of pool players, including Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte who has staged a tournament to discover young talents in the sport.

“Thank you to all of you that even during the pandemic you’re still supporting our sport,” he stressed following his victory in the prestigious tournament held in New Jersey over the weekend.

Biado cited the importance of developing pool players at a young age, recalling his own journey in the sport.

“I started when I was 13 years old. I was just watching my dad play and tried it. I really enjoyed it so I continued to play the sport,” he recalled.

He explained that the exposure of young pool players to small tournaments is very important in development of the skills.

After holding the inaugural Joy Belmonte Inter-Barangay Amateur 10-Ball Open Billiard Tournament last year, the mayor spearheaded the Quezon City 10-Ball Open Tourney last June.

Last July, the Saksi Speed Pool Challenge was also staged by the City Tourism Department last July 10 where Quezon City was crowned “Billiard Capital of the World.”

The city has provided venues for pool masters to showcase their talents during various events such as the professional exhibition games where Biado won in a trilogy against Lee Van Corteza.

Biado said these initiatives of Mayor Belmonte inspires pool players to believe that their sport will continue to strive with the discovery of fresh talents who will inherit their titles as champions in international competitions.

Biado said he himself only dreamed of winning the US Open and follow the footsteps of his ultimate idol and “tatay,” Efren “Bata” Reyes, who was the country’s last champion in the said tournament 27 years ago.

“I’m really very happy because Tatay Efren is my idol since I was young and I was also able to achieve what he has achieved in this US Open,” he shared.

Biado also displayed a Reyes-like feat with his dramatic come-from-behind triumph over Singaporean Aloysius Yapp during the finals held last Sunday in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

The former World 9-Ball kingpin and SEA Games gold medalist strung up 10 consecutive racks to wipe out a five-rack deficit and seal his ascent to the throne.

The 37-year-old Biado netted $50,000 (P2.5 million) as he won the country’s first US Open title since Reyes’ conquest in 1994.

When the pandemic affected the billiards scene in the country, Biado and his wife Niecky decided to fly to the United States to join tournaments.

Meanwhile, the Billiards Managers and Players Association of the Philippines (BMPAP), organizer of the Mayor Joy Belmonte amateur cup, lauded Biado for bringing the Philippines back in the world billiards map.

BMPAP president Perry Mariano believes that more young talents will come out in amateur tournaments and follow the footsteps of Biado.

“The future remains bright for Philippine billiards, thanks to the likes of Mayor Joy who continue to support the sport and develop young guns who will become our future Carlo Biado. His victory gives us something to celebrate as a nation in the middle of this sad pandemic,” Mariano added.

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