SINGAPORE — Richard Gonzales fought back from two sets down to beat Chew Zha Yu Clarence, 11-4, 10-12, 8-11, 9-11, 11-9, 11-4, 12-10 on Thursday and advance to the gold medal match of the 28th Southeast Asian Games table tennis competition.
Gonzales, at 44 over twice the age of Chew, assured himself of at least a silver medal by completing a big fightback against the home bet at the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
Gonzales, however, faces a daunting task in the final as he takes on world No. 15 Gao Ning, also of Singapore.
“Fight lang,” said a defiant Gonzales, who made it to the finals for the first time since the 2005 SEA Games.
Gonzales fell on the brink of defeat after losing the fourth set to fall two sets down, but the unflappable Filipino paddler won the next two including a lopsided 11-4 win in the sixth.
Leading 8-7, Gonzales appeared to have won a crucial point on an edge ball but the umpire overruled the call to tie the score. Unfazed Gonzales took four of the last six points to wrap up the match.