Hangad ng Filipino cue artists na makapagsargo ng apat na ginto sa pagsabak nila sa 30th Southeast Asian Games mula Disyembre 3-10 sa Manila Hotel Tent City.
Sinabi ni Billiards and Snookers Congress of the Philippines secretary general Robert Mananquil na ang kanyang mga atleta ay mataas ang kumpiyansa at handang lagpasan ang kanilang dalawang gold, isang silver at 2 tansong natumbok sa Kuala Lumpur Games noong 2017.
Ayon kay Mananquil malalim ang kanilang paghuhugutan ng talento sa sarguhan sa pangunguna ni world no. 3 Rubilen Amit, world No. 4 Carlo Biado, Dennis Orcollo, Johann Chua, Jeffrey Ignacio, Warren Kiamco, Chezka Centeno, Iris Rañola at Floriza Andal.
Aniya sa naturang lineup, madali nilang masilo ang 4 gold medals sa men at women’s 9-ball competition at men and women’s 10-ball event.
“That’s four gold medals already,” ani Mananquil, na isa ring board member ng Philippine Olympic Committee.
“We still have 9-ball and 10-ball doubles where we also have fighting chances. Of course, I can’t promise that we would also win the gold there, but if luck rolls our way, we might sweep all pool events and win six out of the 10 gold medals at stake.”
Makikipagtalbugan namn sa snookers sina Alvin Barbero, Michael Angelo Mengorio, Jeffrey Roda at Basil Al-Shajjar habang sin Benjie Guevarra at Luis Saberdo ang magdadala ng sulo sa English Billiards.
Si Pool great Efren “Bata” Reyes ay tutumbok rin kasama si Francisco Dela Cruz sa carom habang tatayong head coach ng national squad ang isa pang alamat na si Francisco “Django” Bustamante bilang chef deputy.
“What we have is a very stacked and solid lineup,” sambit ni Mananquil, dugtong pa na mariin silang nag ensayo sa English Billiards at carom events.
“The Malaysians and the Singaporeans, being former British colonies, are expected to dominate English Billiards while carom is the pet event of the Vietnamese. Despite that, we will still go all out and take advantage of our homecourt edge.”
"It’s difficult to predict outcomes, but with proper scouting, sports associations could somehow see their targets well.” pahayag ni Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) Chairman William Ramirez sa naturang development.
“The PSC is also supportive of billiards as it is with all sports,” ani pa Ramirez.
Kinilala naman ni Mananquil ang todong suporta ng PSC sa kanilang preparasyon.
“We want to thank PSC chairman Ramirez for his all-out support,” ani Mananquil. (Louis Pangilinan)