Cuesports aims high at KL SEA Games
National coach Mazrocis upbeat about Singapore's chances at KL SEA Games
It was cuesports' best showing at a South-east Asia (SEA) Games.
Last year, the national billiards and snooker team won two gold, one silver and three bronze medals on home soil when the Republic hosted the biennial Games.
Five-time world champion Peter Gilchrist was the star of the team, winning both gold medals in the English billiards category.
The 48-year-old is expected to once again lead the cuesports contingent at next year's SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur and national coach Stefan Mazrocis is not ruling out the possibility of improving on last year's medal haul.
"It would be nice to do better next year, and the chances are there but, for now, we're just striving to maintain last year's performance," the 49-year-old told The New Paper on the sidelines of the Singapore Snooker Open 2016 at the Lagoona Billiard Room in Safra Toa Payoh yesterday.
"Last year was the best the Singapore team have ever performed at the SEA Games, so why not let it continue?"
The former Dutch professional player also revealed that selection trials for next year's SEA Games squad have started, with two of the three rounds taking place next year.
Said Mazrocis: "The three selection rounds are all not linked to each other, which means if you fail to make the cut in the first, you can still be selected in the second.
"Every one has a chance of making the SEA Games squad."
Thailand and the Philippines have dominated the sport at the SEA Games over the years but, Christopher Chuah, president of Cuesports Singapore, is confident the Republic can still feature among the medals.
"We are aiming for more medals at next year's SEA Games, although the Thais and the Filipinos are very strong," the 55-year-old told TNP yesterday.
"But Peter Gilchrist will definitely be the man to beat next year. I'm sure Gilchrist will bring glory to Singapore again but, at the same time, we're grooming other players to be possible gold-medal prospects, like Aloysius Yapp."
S'POREANS IN LAST 8
Yapp, the 2014 Under-19 World Junior nine-ball pool champion, was one of two Singaporeans who made it to the top eight of the Singapore Snooker Open 2016 yesterday.
The event featured top players from Singapore, Malaysia, China, Hong Kong and Thailand.
Marvin Lim was the other Singaporean who made it to the quarter-finals, but both he and Yapp failed to qualify for the final, which was an all-Thai affair, where Boonyarit Keattikun beat Noppon Saengkham 5-4 in a best-of-nine frame final which lasted more than three hours.