DENNIS Orcollo won’t be able to defend the 9-ball gold medal he won in the Asian Games in 2010 as billiards has not been included in the calendar of events in this year’s Asiad in Incheon, Korea.
The non-inclusion of billiards, according to the former world No. 1, was borne out of the fact that the sport has already been played in another continental event – the Asian Indoor Games – last year which Incheon also hosted.
Rubilen Amit won a bronze medal in the 10-ball event during the 2013 Asian Indoor Games.
Orcollo won the gold in the 2010 Asiad in Guangzhou in an all-Filipino final pitting him against Warren Kiamco in the men’s 9-ball event.
“Siyempre nakakalungkot dahil nag-gold ako sa last Asian Games pero hindi ko ma-de-defend. Pero marami pa namang time at tournaments. Baka sa susunod na Asian Games, mayroon na uli,” said Orcollo, one of three Filipino athletes to win a gold in the Asiad four years agao along with boxer Rey Saludar and bowler Engelberto 'Biboy' Rivera.
Despite the absence of billiards, Philippine sports officials are banking on team sports such as basketball, rugby, and softball to contribute to the country’s gold medal campaign in Incheon.
Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) chairman Ritchie Garcia, who’s also the country’s chef de mission in this year’s Asiad, is imposing a stringent criteria in the selection of athletes that will comprise the Philippine delegation.