Filipino champion Carlo Biado fell short of defending his US Open 9-ball Championship crown after yielding to eventual titlist Spain’s Francisco Sanchez Ruiz, 11-10, in the semifinals in the wee hours of Sunday, Oct. 16 (Manila time).

Carlo Biado (Photo from US Open 9-ball Championship)

Not even a late rally from Biado that saw him recover from a 10-6 deficit to force a hill-hill decider can help the defending champion survive the tough challenge from the 30-year-old Spanish cue master.

Biado actually found himself at the rear of the race-to-11 contest, trailing 7-2 before finally finding his groove to score four straight racks to cut the deficit to just one, 7-6.

Unbothered by Biado’s rally, Sanchez Ruiz took advantage of a dry break from the Filipino, scoring three-straight racks, capped by a break and run to reach the hill first, 10-6.

He had the chance to dethrone Biado at the 17th rack but failed to get the cue ball safe, allowing the defending champion to get back on the table and pounced on the errors of Sanchez Ruiz to score two more racks.

A back-to-back break and runs from Biado even the count at 10-10, reminiscent of his 7-3 comeback against Aloysius Yap in the Finals last year.

Biado had the chance to advance to Finals after making three balls at the break in the last rack but went on to lose a brief safety battle for the four ball, giving Sanchez Ruiz a shot before eventually clearing the table to dethrone the defending champion.

Riding the crest of the momentous semifinal win against Biado, Sanchez Ruiz then outlasted Austria’s Max Lechner, 13-11, in the Finals to bag this year’s crown and the $50,000 top prize. Biado, meanwhile, settled for a bronze medal finish and $13,500 prize (P796,000)

Source: Manila Bulletin (