KORAT, Dec 5 (Bernama) -- Three Sea Games have gone by for Malaysia without a gold medal in snooker and billiards and the pressure is mounting.
Ever since the golden days of Sam Chong and company where the gold medals kept flowing, Malaysia are going through a drought now.
How will things shape up this time when the competition cues off on Friday at the Sima Thani Hotel here?
"There is no denying that it's time for snooker and billiards to deliver. We have gone through three Sea Games without a gold medal and we don't want to carry on like this," said team manager Melvin Chia.
"The National Sports Council (NSC) have invested so much in us and I believe their patience must be running thin too," said team manager Melvin Chia.
The last time Malaysia won a gold was at the 1999 Brunei Sea Games where Sam Chong won the singles title after a hard-fought battle against Thailand's Napadon Napachon.
Malaysia are putting their hopes on the men's snooker team which open their campaign against Laos on Friday, to deliver the gold and also the combination of Moh Keen Ho and John Yong to make good in the men's doubles.
"Laos should be no problem and then we will face the Philippines in the semi-finals.
"Of course the Filipinos are the defending champions but I don't see them repeating their triumph here.
"The Thais are the favourites but if we make it to the final, we have a chance. Keen Ho and John are both very experienced players and they are capable of beating the Thais," said Chia.
Suhana Sabtu, the silver medallist in the 9-ball event in Manila two years ago and Esther Kwan, silver medallist at the Doha Asian Games last year, are also expected to make it to the final of their respective events.
The Korat Sea Games will also see Malaysia making their debut in the women's snooker 6-ball event with Lim Siew Boon and Wong Poi Sei taking part but Thailand's Santhinee Jaisekul is the overwhelming favourite.