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All-Pinoy final looms in 9-ball billiards

KUALA LUMPUR – The Philippines was relegated to the battle for the bronze medal in women’s volleyball, but stayed on course for a possible all-Filipino final in men’s 9-ball pool singles Saturday in the 29th Southeast Asian Games.

The PH spikers stayed with defending champion Thailand in the first set before going down, 21-25, 17-25, 17-25, at the MiTEC Hall 11.

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“Thailand is a veteran team that plays at a high level,” said head coach Francis Vicente.

“This game shows that our volleyball program has a long way to go. We still have a lot to learn and need more international exposure,” added Vicente.

The Filipinas committed 18 errors as opposed to the Thais’ 11.

The Thais also won 43 points on spikes against the Filipinas’ 34.

Jaja Santiago led the Filipinas with 15 points while Alyssa Valdez added 10.

Thinkaow Pleumjit was the top Thai scorer with 13.

The Filipinas get a chance to avenge their loss to Vietnam when both teams collide at 10 a.m. Sunday also at the same venue.

In billiards, World Games champion Carlo Biado survived Irsai Afrinneza Nasution of Indonesia, 9-8, to reach the semifinals of the men’s 9-ball pool singles.

Biado took the first two racks before the Indons tied the score at 2-all.

The match went according to break until Biado was called for an illegal break that saw the Indon take a 7-5 lead.

Biado drew level following a bad shot by the Indon in the 14th rack and seized the lead, 8-7, after completing a run-out.

Nasution forged the hill-hill by scoring a run-out of his own in the 16th rack.

Another run-out lifted Biado to victory as Nasution watched helplessly from his chair.

Johann Chua followed Biado to the Last 4 after beating Muhammad Simanjuntak of Indonesia, 9-6.

In women’s 9-ball pool singles, defending champion Chezka Centeno and Rubilen Amit were set to face separate semifinal opponents Saturday evening.

In badminton, the Philippines won its first two assignments.

Sarah Joy Barredo walloped Phuangmala Onlyone of Laos, 2-0, in women’s singles while Philip Joper Escue and Carlos Antonie Cay whipped Do Tuan Duc and Tran Quoc Viet, 2-0, in men’s doubles.

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