Carlo Biado triumph spurs Filipino-led Middle East tilt
Carlo Biado’s recent victory in the US Open Pool Championship is reigniting the Filipinos’ love for billiards. It can be felt from as far away as United Arab Emirates.
Pro players Jayson Nuguid and Armand Cagol claimed the pull was strong enough to organize the Abu Dhabi Open 9-ball Championships.
“Snooker used to be the most popular pool sport here in the Middle East, but 9-ball is fast rising,” said Nuguid, who manages the Power Break Billiards Hall which will host the event on Nov. 8 to 11.
In an interview with Sports Radio, Nuguid said Filipinos like him and Cagol earn a living as “entertainers” in the pool halls; teaching and playing with customers.
Local fans have also grown interest in the sport, with 30 of the 64-man field coming from Abu Dhabi. The rest will fly in from Saudi Arabi, Iran, Oman and Qatar.
Their main challenge: Beat the newest toast of Philippine pool.
“He (Biado) is really an excellent player, but everybody’s equal on the playing table,” said Cagol, who will also compete in the P650,000 tournament.
Though Abu Dhabi has relaxed its pandemic protocols, Nuguid said they will still observe social distancing and require face masks inside the venue.
The 37-year-old Biado, a two-time Southeast Asian Games champ, ended a 27-year Philippine drought when he defeated Singaporean Aloysius Yapp (13-8) in the US 9-ball Open.