Carlo Biado still could not believe he made history when he became the new world 9-ball champion in Doha, Qatar on Friday.
He became the first Filipino to win the title in 7 years, joining the likes of Efren “Bata” Reyes, Francisco “Django” Bustamante, Alex “The Lion” Pagulayan and Ronato “Volcano” Alcano.
“Sobrang saya ko po. Dati-rati kapag iniisip ko parang imposible. Pero ngayon, nakasama ko na sila,” the 34-year-old billiard ace told ABS-CBN News in an online interview.
“Pangarap ko talaga iyong masungkit iyong titulo. 'Di pa rin ako makapaniwala na nanalo ako.”
Biado had to get past Daniel Tangudd (11-6) and Tomasz Kaplan (11-8) in the knockout phase. In the round of 16, Biado took down fellow Filipino Jeffrey Ignacio, 11-7.
But it was in the quarterfinals when he sensed that he might be destined to become the 2017 champion.
He won by default over China’s Liu Haltao after the latter failed to show up on time for their match.
“Ang akala niya 3 p.m. pero ang match 2 p.m. Bihirang bihira lang may nangyayaring ganun. So noon ako nakaramdam na parang sa akin nga mapupunta ang championship,” he said.
In the semifinals, Biado overcame Wu Kun-lin of Chinese Taipei (11-6) before taking on Ronald Garcia in an all-Filipino finals, 13-5.
“Ang nakakatuwa doon, manalo o matalo Pilipino pa rin ang panalo,” he said.
It was a banner year for Biado, who won four medals this season.
He won the gold during the 2017 World Games in Warsaw, followed by another gold in the Kuala Lumpur Southeast Asian Games. He later went to Ashgabat or the Asian Indoor and martial Arts Games for a bronze medal before taking the crown in Doha.
“Kaya napakabuti ng 2017 sa akin,” Biado said.
Biado has been playing billiards at the age of 13. Back then, he was still working as a tee boy at Villamor Air Base golf range.
“Nagwo-work ako after school then bilyar naman sa gabi,” he said.
It was during first-year high school when he turned to billiards as his means of livelihood.
“Natigil ako sa pag-aaral kasi kapos kami sa pera. So nag-concentrate na lang ako sa bilyar kasi kumikita ako sa mga pusta at nakakatulong sa pamilya,” he said. “Kung saan saang sulok ako ng Metro Manila nakakarating para lang lumaro.”
Biado is set to return to Manila on Saturday. He will take a 2-week breather before flying to China.
"Pupunta naman ako doon para sa World Chinese 8-Ball Championship," he said.
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