NEWLY minted US Open Pool Championship champion Carlo Biado of the Philippines. — MATCHROOM POOL FB PAGE

FILIPINO cue artist Carlo Biado added a significant cap to his stellar career by winning the US Open Pool Championship title, something he attributes to his experience playing in top-level competitions and having a go-getting mindset.

Speaking to Radyo Pilipinas 2 following his victory in the prestigious US nine-ball tournament, 13-8, over Singapore top player Aloysius Yapp on Sunday, 37-year-old Mr. Biado said he is happy to have claimed one of his dream titles and thankful for the opportunity given to him.

The Nueva Ecija native showed unflappable grit and determination to buck being down, 3-8, at one point early in the championship match and turn things around en route to the huge victory over Mr. Yapp in the competition held from Sept. 13 to 18 at the Harrah’s Resort in Atlantic City.

With the win, he became the first pool player from the Philippines to win the prestigious tournament since Filipino legend Efren “Bata” Reyes in 1994.

Mr. Biado pocketed the top prize of $50,000, or around P2.5 million.

“When I went down 3-8, I did not lose hope. I said to myself once I get the break, I will take full advantage of it. So I stayed relaxed and played my game,” said Mr. Biado in Filipino of his mindset during the final.

“I think it helped as well that I have played in high-level competitions against the best players in the world and knew how to handle it,” added the Philippine bet, who also won the world nine ball championship in 2017.

He went on to share that initially he had second thoughts of going to the United States, but in consultation with his wife, he made the decision to proceed and play abroad.

“My wife urged me to go here and play since there was not much action happening in the Philippines because of the pandemic. Good thing I followed her advice,” Mr. Biado said.

In the US Open, the path was not easy for Mr. Biado, which saw him hit a setback early on, falling to the loser’s bracket in preliminary play after losing to Spain’s David Alcaide Bermudez.

It was a wake-up call for him, and from there he worked on his game and made the necessary adjustments.

He was able to exact payback on Mr. Bermudez, defeating the latter, 11-10, in the last 16. Mr. Biado then edged out compatriot Johann Gonzales Chua, 11-10, in the quarterfinals, and Japanese Naoyuki Oi, 11-9, in the semifinals.

Against Mr. Yapp in the final, Mr. Biado found the going tough at the start as the Singaporean raced to an 8-3 advantage.

In the 12th game, he was given an opening when Mr. Yapp missed the nine ball which could have extended the latter’s lead further.

From there, Mr. Biado won 10 straight racks to complete the come-from-behind win.

“This is one of the toughest events I’ve competed in. It presented a different challenge. Competition was very crowded,” Mr. Biado said.

Mr. Biado and his wife will stay for another week in the States before coming back to the country after four months of being away.

He is currently contemplating whether to compete in the US International Open in Virginia in October.

Mr. Biado, also a Southeast Asian Game gold medalist, also expressed his readiness to represent the national team in international competitions in the future. — Michael Angelo S. Murillo