Amit trumps Centeno, cops SEA Games 9-ball gold

MANILA, Philippines – Rubilen Amit finally caught a break against Chezka Centeno after scoring a decisive 7-3 win over her compatriot in the women's 9-ball finals of the 2019 Southeast Asian Games on Sunday, December 8, at the Manila Hotel Tent.

But unlike their women's 10-ball championship clash on Saturday that saw Centeno beating Amit in dominant fashion, both cue artists engaged in a neck-and-neck battle in the first 4 racks of the race-to-seven duel.

After Centeno immediately took two racks in the early proceedings with the intent to assert dominance, the former world champion Amit delivered the equalizer in the next two sets.

While Centeno managed to get the lead back, Amit had some good breaks in the following rounds and broke out of her opponent's clutches to gain a 6-3 leverage heading to her final rack.

Amit cleared all balls en route to a gold-medal conquest until Centeno demonstrated a class act by conceding when the veteran was about to pocket her last ball.

Amit and Centeno may have been on opposing sides in the women's 9-ball finals, but that was not the case in the doubles category earlier in the day as they had to team up to play against the Thai tandem of Vutthiphan Kongkaket and Sasiwimon Wannaprathip in the quarterfinals.

Despite the combined impressive credentials of both pool players, Amit and Centeno still figured in an arduous race-to-seven contest as they went back-and-forth with the Thai duo.

In the deciding rack of the game, Amit and Centeno capitalized on their counterparts' crucial error, clearing the table for a hard-earned 7-6 victory to advance to the semifinal phase.

Veteran Dennis Orcollo remained an unstoppable force in the SEA Games pool events, edging out Singaporean standout Aloysius Yapp, 9-7, in the men's 10-ball semifinals. –