Aloysius Yapp finishes 2nd at US Open
Bittersweet finish to Singaporean's brilliant run over past fortnight, where he has claimed big scalps
As Aloysius Yapp watched his opponent Carlo Biado pocket ball after ball and win rack after rack on Saturday night in Atlantic City, he thought about how fickle the sport of pool can be. But even if he could, he would not change a single thing.
For the past two weeks, he has been on a brilliant run in the United States, claiming scalps at the World 10-Ball Championship and US Open 9-Ball Championship, where his hunt for honours at the prestigious event ended with a 13-8 final loss to the Filipino.
The 25-year-old Singaporean had beaten American world No. 1 Shane van Boening and world No. 2 Joshua Filler of Germany, and even led Biado 8-3 at the Harrah's Resort Hotel and Casino on Saturday.
But in the race-to-13, winner-break format of the final, he was helplessly planted in his chair as his 37-year-old adversary played out an excellent game and strung together 10 racks in a row to win.
Asked if he had reflected on the cruelty of his sport, world No. 8 Yapp replied with a chuckle: "Of course. I have been thinking about that for many years. A turn of the ball can change everything.
"But as much as I hate that luck is involved in the game, it's part of it and it's also a reason why I love it."
Biado, the 2017 World 9-Ball champion and world No. 14, became only the second Filipino to win the US Open and its green jacket, after Efren Reyes in 1994, and claimed the top prize of US$50,000 (S$67,460) while Yapp won US$25,000.
Almost six hours after his final, Yapp told The Straits Times he was "still bothered" by the 9-ball miss in the 12th rack but said Biado fully deserved his comeback victory.
BOTH HAPPY AND SAD
"Right now, I'm both happy and sad, it's hard to describe," said Yapp. "I feel like I could have done better, especially if I didn't miss that 9-ball. I felt I had a great tournament... In such a tough field, I have to be pretty happy with my performance."
His rise has not gone unnoticed.
Yapp, the 2014 Junior World 9-Ball champion, has gained a following on social media, with fans praising his skill and classy demeanour.
While happy with the support, he is only focused on his next tournament, a Predator Pro Series event in Detroit, Michigan from Wednesday to Saturday.
After that, he will play in two other smaller meets before wrapping up his two-month stint in the US with the Oct 22-30 International Open in Norfolk, Virginia.
Cuesports Singapore president Justin Lee said:
"Aloysius gives us confidence that cue sports athletes from Singapore can succeed at the highest level."