SEA Games: Vietnam beat Singapore 3-2 in billiards team quarter-finals

SINGAPORE - The golden hat-trick bid of Peter Gilchrist in billiards screeched to an abrupt halt on Wednesday morning at the OCBC Arena as he, together with Chan Keng Kwang and Yeo Teck Shin, suffered a shock exit in the men's billiards team quarter-finals as Singapore were defeated 3-2 by Vietnam in a tight contest.

"It's disappointing really," Gilchrist said. "But they were the better team. It's billiards, you win some and you lose some. You just have to take it."

Gilchrist had earlier won the English billiards singles (500) and billiards singles titles at this Games. Together with Chan, they had to settle for silver in the billiards doubles after losing 3-2 in a gripping final on Tuesday.

Against Vietnam in the team event, the Singaporeans came out strongly, winning the first frame (100-54) but Vietnam won the next two frames (100-84, 100-61) to gain the lead.

Gilchrist stepped up in the fourth frame, never giving his opponent a chance to come onto the table, going on a sensational run to win the fourth frame 101-32. But Vietnam's Nguyen Thanh Binh - who won the silver medal in the billiards (500) - took control of the fifth frame, hitting balls in with strategy and luck, eventually winning the frame 100-2, giving Vietnam the victory.

"It's sad, but I am so proud of my boys," Singapore team manager K. Rajaram said. "Though my only concern was that we were robbed of the gold yesterday. That was difficult to recover from."

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