SEA Games 31
Asian Games Despite a nagging pandemic, the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi proved to be a whirlwind of excitement. Whether it was the billiards and snooker tournaments or the colorful cultural dance performances, the event was a success. The opening ceremony firmly cemented Vietnam’s status as the king of SEA Games hosts. In the billiards and snooker department, Philippines topped the pack with eight medals, including gold in the billiards and snooker team events and bronze in the men’s 3-cushion carom.
One of the biggest draws in Hanoi was Efren “Bata” Reyes, the man credited with launching the first modern-day billiards competition in the Philippines in 1976. He has won more than 70 international titles, and is a pool table legend. He has been nicknamed the magician for his billiards skills, and his fan base is second to none. In fact, he is the oldest delegate in the biennial event. Despite a rocky start against a young and talented Vietnamese cue artist, Reyes kept the ball in play, and eventually tied the score at 51-all. He had the opportunity to win his first gold medal in his illustrious career. The Filipino opted not to take the plunge, though, and his opponent Tran Quyet Chien walked away with a 12-point lead.
In the billiards and snooker competitions, the Philippines claimed gold in the men’s 9-ball pool singles and men’s 3-cushion carom, and silver in the men’s 1-cushion carom. Aside from the pool and snooker events, the Philippines also won silver in the men’s sepak takraw. Nham Manh Dung won the SEA Games U-23 match in the Philippines in 2019, and he will likely be a part of the national team in the coming years.
The SEA Games 31 were a showcase of camaraderie and sportsmanship. In addition to the usual billiards and snooker events, the games also featured a series of virtual graphic shows, arts displays, and parades. The best part of all was that Vietnam was able to host the SEA Games. In fact, the country’s name has become synonymous with the biennial event, and the country is gearing up for a spectacular closing ceremony. This was the first time the country was able to stage the games in the city of Hanoi.
Efren “Bata” Reyes was the man to beat in the billiards and snooker contests. He was a favorite for the bronze medal in the aforementioned men’s one-cushion carom tournament, and he also ranked highly in the billiards and snooker teams. He will also be a part of the team in the men’s three-cushion carom tournament. He also has the clout to lead his country’s billiards and snooker efforts. His team has an excellent mix of young talent and experienced veterans, and they should make a splash in the competitions. In fact, the Philippines are favorites to win all three billiards and snooker titles.
The competitions are set to begin on May 14 and will continue through May 22. The most exciting competitions will include the men’s 3-cushion carom, women’s 9-ball pool singles, men’s 1-cushion carom, and women’s sepak takraw. The Philippines will be led by head coach Francisco “Django” Bustamante, assisted by Roy Vincent Malinoo.
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SEA Games 2022
SEA Games are a biennial multi-sports competition that involves 11 Southeast Asian countries. They are supervised by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and organized by the Southeast Asian Games Federation (SAGF). They will be held in Hanoi, Vietnam, from May 12 to May 23 in 2022. There will be 523 events across 40 sports, with an estimated total of 1500 medals.
In the last three SEA Games, Thailand has won gold medals in each of the three editions, with 17-18% of all gold medals won by the country. The Philippines and Cambodia have also been among the top nations, with 57 and 9 gold medals, respectively, in 1993. The Philippines finished fourth at the last SEA Games in Manila.
Among the athletes expected to participate are Hidily Diaz, who is competing in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Champion; Apriyani Rahayu, the Indonesian doubles champ; and Alyssa Valdez, the Philippine volleyball player. SEA Games also include esports, which is becoming increasingly popular among Southeast Asian fans. Esports have been included as a medal event at the upcoming 31st SEA Games.
The Philippines is expected to bring home 18 gold medals in the upcoming SEA Games. Gilas Pilipinas will be led by Kiefer Ravena, and the men’s team will be led by June Mar Fajardo, who is a six-time PBA Most Valuable Player. They will be aiming to add their 19th gold medal in the history of the SEA Games.
The Vietnamese men’s team has been crowned defending champions. Le Thanh Tung, Van Vi Luong, and Dinh Phuong Thanh led the way with big scores. The women’s team also won gold and will be looking for their first World Cup in 2023. Le Tu Chinh will be missing the 100m title, but she is expected to win the 200m. The women’s team will also include the top athletes in Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia, and will be led by Mai Duc Chung.
The women’s football tournament will be contested from May 11 to May 21. The men’s will be from May 6 to May 22. Despite not having any home-field advantage, SEA Games will feature esports events and will be organized by the Vietnam Recreational and Electronic Sports Association (VESA).
The men’s football tournament will be contested from March 20 to May 6 in Malaysia, and from March 29 to May 2 in Singapore. SEA Games 2022 will feature ten teams. Malaysia has already confirmed that it will participate in 40 sports, while the Philippine Olympic Committee has also confirmed that it will participate in 37 sports. The Philippines will also compete in the golf tournament and will be led by Ervin Chang, who is making his final SEA Games appearance before turning pro.
The Vietnamese women’s team qualified for the first World Cup in 2023. The Philippines has won 18 gold medals in the history of the SEA Games and will be hoping to add to that total. The Philippines also finished fourth at the last SEA Games in Manama.
In the past three SEA Games, Thailand has been the most successful country, winning 17-18% of all gold medals. Malaysia has also had a good showing, aiming to sweep the diving gold medals. The Philippines will also look to add to their gold medals, with Carlos Yulo and Kiefer Ravena hoping to win a few. They also have athletes like Apriyani Rahayu, Pandelela Rinong, and Alyssa Valdez.