SEA Games 2023: Francisco dela Cruz salvages carom bronze for PH | Inquirer Sports

SEA Games 2023: Francisco dela Cruz salvages carom bronze for PH

Francisco Dela Cruz at the Billiards event at the 29th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) in Kuala Lumpur. I

FILE–Filipino pool player Francisco Dela Cruz. –INQUIRER/ MARIANNE BERMUDEZ

Francisco dela Cruz gave the Philippines its first medal in billiard sport after a bronze medal finish in the men’s 3-carom event of the 32nd Southeast Asian Games in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Dela Cruz was assured of a podium finish after reaching the semifinals where he eventually lost to Duc Anh Chien Nguyen of Vietnam, 40-10, Thursday at Aeon 2 Sen Sok in the Cambodian capital.

Nguyen would go on to lose to fellow Vietnamese Nguyen Tran Thanh Tu for the gold.

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It was a rare bronze for Dela Cruz in 3-carom, a form of billiards played in a pocket-less table with the objective of using the cue ball to contact the first object ball and the rail at least three times before hitting the second ball.

He had previously won medals in 1-carom, namely a silver in the 2011 edition in Palembang, Indonesia and four bronzes in 2013 (Nay Pyi Taw, Myanmar), 2015 (Singapore), 2019 (Manila) and 2022 (Hanoi, Vietnam).

The veteran cue artist opened his campaign by defeating Indonesia’s Jhonny Chandra, 36-30, in the quarterfinals.

His place in the podium came after the legendary Efren “Bata” Reyes was booted out in the quarterfinals by Cambodia’s Woo Donghoon, a naturalized player from South Korea.

Their women counterparts were also shown the door as multi-time gold medalists Rubilen Amit and Chezka Centeno lost their opening matches.

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TAGS: Cambodia SEA Games, Francisco dela Cruz

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