By JONAS TERRADO
Rubilen Amit wrapped up her campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games with a double-gold effort after topping Chezka Centeno, 7-5, in the women’s 10-ball final held Saturday, May 21 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Amit squandered a pair of three-rack leads but showed veteran poise to dethrone Centeno, winner of the 2019 edition, in an all-Filipino title clash at Ha Dong Gymnasium.
The 40-year-old Amit will head home with a pair of golds after ruling the women’s 9-ball singles earlier in the week.
She also bagged her 10th career gold in the regional meet at the expense of Centeno, who settled for silver.
It was the second straight time that Amit beat Centeno in a SEAG final, prevailing in their 2019 clash for the women’s 9-ball gold in Manila.
Meantime, Carlo Biado got back at fellow FJohann Chua with a 9-3 win in the men’s 10-ball singles.
Biado took control upon the opening break, taking the first two racks before extending the gap to 4-1 after Chua missed the final ball on the fifth frame to the astonishment of the crowd inside the Ha Dong Gymnasium.
It was the start Biado needed to avenge his 9-6 defeat to Chua in the men’s 9-ball final last Wednesday.
The former world champion and last year’s US Open winner claimed his third gold in the regional meet, including his triumphs in the men’s 9-ball doubles back in 2015 and men’s 9-ball singles in 2017.
He joins Chua and Amit as the Filipino cue artists who produced golds during this year’s event.
The Philippines will leave Vietnam with four golds — two of which from Amit in the women’s 9-ball and 10-ball singles — alongside four silvers and two bronzes.
Amit raced to a 3-0 lead as she capitalized on some mistakes by Centeno, who in the second rack committed a bad shot while going for the 4-ball.
After Centeno cut the margin to 3-2, Amit took the next two racks and could have put herself on the hill early with a 6-2 advantage but she scratched the cue ball after sinking the 7-ball on the corner.
That allowed Centeno to win three straight and tie the score at 5-all, which turned out to be the 22-year-old’s last chance at beating Amit.
Amit would prevail in the 11th rack before easily securing the gold in the succeeding frame.
Centeno gave Amit a hug upon the end of the match, content that the country’s top female cue artists will end up 1-2.
Despite being denied a fifth SEAG gold, the runner-up finish served as a consolation for Centeno after being booted out in the quarterfinals of the women’s 9-ball event.