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Biado caps big year with world 9-ball title.

World 9-Ball Championship winner Carlo Biado (behind, right) of the Philippines, runner-up Roland Garcia (behind, left) and semi-finalist Eklent KaCi pose on the podium with QBSF president Mohamed Mubarak al-Ramzani (front, fourth from right), WPA president Ian Anderson (front, centre), QBSF secretary-general Mohamed Salem al-Nuaimi (second from left), assistant secretary-general Sultan Salem al-Suwaidi (third from right), executive manager Mubarak Hamad al-Khayarin (right) and other officials. TOP LEFT INSERT: World 9-Ball Championship winner Carlo Biado lifts his trophy. PICTURES: Shemeer Rasheed Mikhil Bhat

34-year-old from Philippines beats compatriot Garcia 13-5 in yesterday's final Carlo Biado has come a long way from the golf course he used to caddy at in the Philippines. Fifteen years away. And on the way he has picked up a few gold medals, national championships, and now a 9-ball world title. At the Al Arabi Sports Club Indoor Hall yesterday, Biado beat compatriot Roland Garcia 13-5 in scintillating fashion to cap what has been a memorable year for the 34-year-old. Biado had won the World Games gold in nine-ball in Wroclaw, Poland, in July before notching the win at the Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in August, and then a bronze at the Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan. Yesterday, Biado opened big, taking a 7-0 lead before his 36-year-old opponent, who had struggled with his breaks so far, pulled one back. Then with Biado up 9-3, Garcia potted a couple on his break but unluckily for him, the two-ball, on its way to the pot, kicked the cue into the pot in the corner. All Garcia could do was find some humour in the situation, grabbing the ball just when it fell into the pot, picking it up and mimicking taking a bite of it. Biado walked up, and went 10-3 up. Luck deserted Garcia, who beat the likes of former champion Ko Pin Yi and emerging Albanian star Eklent KaAaAaAeAii, on his way to the final, yet again when, with Biado 10-3 u Garcia potted the two, only for the cue to roll down the cushion and into the pot. Biado made the most of it. Garcia, much to the delight of the crowd who had come to cheer in the all-Filipino final, where even the ref was Angelo Bartolo of the Philippines, pulled two straight frames to go 5-11. In the 17th frame, Biado snookered Garcia, who got the three-ball but set it up for his opponent, who made it 12-5 in no time. A few minutes later, Biado yelled in celebration to the loud applause of those in attendance, with his arms and his cue stick high up above his head, as Garcia applauded his countryman. "I think that Carlo deserves it more than I do. I am very happy and proud for him, I am happy that the title has come to the Philippines," Garcia said after the match. Biado had made it to the semi-finals after his Chinese opponent didn't make it in time for the quarter-final on Wednesday, and he beat Taipei's Lin Wu Kun in the last four yesterday morning for his spot in the finale. "I am very happy winning the world title after 15 long years. It's the biggest tournament of my life. Before this title here, I had won the gold in World Games and I must say that gave me confidence coming into this tournament. Now I am very very happy," Biado told Gulf Times. "Earlier I used to work as a caddy at a driving range. I used to head to play pool to unwind after my day's work at the golf range. That's how I caught on with the game," Biado said. "At the time, I knew that I could earn more money in pool in the Philippines, and that's how I made the switch." And he did. Yesterday, the win made Biado richer by $40,000, while Garcia won $20,000 for his effort. But what made Garcia happy was his experience at the tournament. "What I liked is that I played well against former world champions like Ko Pin Yi and Neils (Feijen), and then KaAaAaAeAii. I respect them lot. And I am glad I was able to play well against them. And I think I just got lucky to reach this far. But what I am really happy about is that a Filipino won the championship and the runner-up spot."

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Publication:Gulf Times (Doha, Qatar)
Geographic Code:9PHIL
Date:Dec 15, 2017
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