Chezka Centeno outshines Rubilen Amit for SEA Games 10-ball gold

Nissi Icasiano
Pool stars Chezka Centeno and Rubilen Amit secure another 1-2 finish in the women’s 10-ball tournament

1-2 FINISH. Chezka Centeno (R) celebrates with compatriot Rubilen Amit after the awarding ceremonies in the 30th SEA Games women's 10-ball pool singles event at the Manila Hotel Tent on December 7, 2019. Photo by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – For the fourth time, Chezka Centeno prevailed over compatriot Rubilen Amit, 7-3, to capture the gold medal in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games women’s 10-ball tournament on Saturday, December 7 at the packed Manila Hotel Tent. 

The 20-year-old Zamboanga City native secured a 2-nil edge to open the race-to-seven duel against her fellow Filipina, but Amit managed to trim the lead by one in the 3rd set. 

Centeno added 3 more racks to the scoreboard, putting her one point away from a gold medal. However, the seasoned veteran in Amit refused to go down easily, capitalizing on her opponent’s back-to-back miscues to trail by 3. 

Knowing the experience and capabilities of Amit, Centeno did not let up in the following rack, pocketing two balls in the break. She was clearing all balls en route to victory until the veteran Amit threw in her burgundy-colored handkerchief to concede. 

Both ladies will meet again in the women’s 9-ball finals on Sunday, December 8. The two emerged triumphant in their respective semifinal games before they went head-to-head in their 10-ball clash. 

Centeno posted a 7-4 win over Singapore’s Jessica Tan Hui Ming to book a 9-ball finals appearance, while Amit outclassed Thailand’s Vutthiphan Kongkaket by way of 7-2 conquest. 

It was an action-filled day for both Centeno and Amit as they also teamed up in women’s 9-ball boules qualifiers, defeating the Vietnamese tandem of Bui Xuan Vang and Doan Thi Ngoc Le, 7-4.

While Centeno and Amit had every reason to celebrate, it was different in the case of former world champion Carlo Biado as he bowed out of the 10-ball tourney against Indonesia’s Kadir Ismail, 9-2, in the quarterfinal round. 

In one-cushion carom semifinals, Francisco Dela Cruz yielded to Vietnam’s Pham Canh Phuc, 100-55. He will receive the bronze medal, sharing it with billiards legend Efren “Bata” Reyes. 

Dennis Orcollo continued his winning streak, beating Indonesian athlete Sahroni, 9-0, in the qualifying stage of the men’s 9-ball tournament. –