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Centeno claims gold over Amit in All-PH women’s 9-ball singles

SINGAPORE – There was a time when Chezka Centeno would have been awed in playing teammate Rubilen Amit, a former world 9-ball and 10-ball champion, in the finals of a major international competition.

But on Tuesday, May 9, Centeno showed everyone that deserved to be ranked among the country’s billiard elite, humbling Amit, 7-5, in capturing the women’s 9-ball gold championship of the 28th Singapore Southeast Asian Games at the OCBC Arena here.

The women’s 10-ball champion in the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games, Amit valiantly tried to come back from a 0-3 deficit to knot deadlock the score at 4-alll and looked to have turned things around.

But the 15-year-old Zamboanga City native refused to crack, winning three of the last four racks, ending the match in the deciding 12th frame by sinking the 9-ball in the right corner pocket, to become the country’s youngest SEA Games champion in a memorable debut in the sportsfest.  

Amit had to settle for the silver this time after being foiled in her comeback to her youthful and talented Centeno, who could emerge as the heir to the latter’s throne in the years to come  

“Masaya po ako at nanalo,” said the shy and soft-spoken Centeno after securing the only medal event up for grabs in women’s billiards. (“I’m happy that I won.”)

Centeno’s triumph was the second gold for the Pinoy cue aces, who bagged their first gold medal through Dennis Orcollo and Carlos Biado in the men’s 9-ball doubles last Sunday.

With their contest finished, the Philippines now has 10 golds - the same amount current 6th-placer Myanmar has. The Philippines also has 13 silvers and 25 bronzes.

- Rappler.com