Rubilen Amit nears gold medal defense
MANILA (UPDATE) – Efren "Bata" Reyes is assured of at least a bronze medal at the 31st Southeast Asian Games carom tournament after a come-from-behind victory against his Thai opponent Suriya Suanasing, 65-58 in the quarterfinals held at Ha Dong Gymnasium in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The semifinal is on Wednesday, while the final is Thursday.
Ending the pause with a 24-39 deficit, Reyes cut Suanasingh's deficit down to 10.
With Suanasingh missing the shot while the scoreline reached 31-46, Reyes rallied to slice the lead to single digits, ending the run with a miscue, 40-46.
He further trimmed down the deficit to 5 (47-42), outscoring Suanasingh after a few turns to pull away with the lead after tying the series at 51-all, being met with a thunderous applause as he secured victory.
Reyes bagged bronze in the 2019 edition of the Southeast Asian Games, when the Philippines was the host country.
Aged 65 at the time, the billiards legend said he was mulling retirement.
Francisco Dela Cruz, another 1-cushion carom bet, bested Thailand's Sompol Saetang to secure at least bronze, like Reyes.
In other billiards action, Rubilen Amit nears title defense in women's 9-ball pool singles after defeating Xuan Van Bui of hosts Vietnam.
Carlo Biado and Johann Chua also advanced to the semifinals of the men's 9-ball pool competition after winning their respective matches against Myanmar's Thaw Zin Htet and Vietnam's Thanh Kien Dang, respectively.