Carlo Biado mounted a monumental comeback to defeat Singapore's Aloysius Yapp 13-8 for the US Open Pool Championship on Sunday (19 September, Manila time) at the Harrah's Resort in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
Staring at a precarious 3-8 deficit, the 37-year-old Filipino stalwart displayed grit and composure as he secured the last 10 consecutive racks to clinch the title.
Biado, who will also take home the US$50,000 top prize (around P2.5 million), is the first Filipino to win the prestigious tournament since pool legend Efren "Bata" Reyes in 1994.
But before he made history, Biado had to go through the wringer.
Buried in the losers' bracket, Biado clawed his way back and reached the quarter-finals where he edged out compatriot Johann Gonzales Chua 11-10. He then knocked out Naoyuki Oi of Japan, 11-9, in the semi-finals to set up a championship bout with Yapp, who prevented an All-Filipino final after sending Dennis Orcollo crashing in the semis 11-6.
Yapp ended up with US$25,000 in prize money while Orcollo bagged US$12,500. Meanwhile, Chua and fellow Filipino Rodrigo Geronimo, who also reached the quarter-finals, each earned US$6,750.
Ohmer Bautista is a sports journalist who has covered local and international sporting events in the Philippines. The views expressed are his own.