Rubilen Amit and Chezka Centeno edged their respective rivals Thursday, Jan. 19, to arrange a third round showdown in the 2023 Kamui Women’s World 9-Ball Championship in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The world No. 5 Amit, a multiple Southeast Asian Games gold medalist, opened her campaign with a 7-3 thrashing of Wan Ka Kai of Hong Kong, 7-3, before escaping world No. 5 Amber Chen of Chinese Taipei in a hill-hill battle, 7-6.
Amit actually trailed Chen, 5-0, but went on with strong plays to catch up with her veteran rival before banking on a fluke in the last rack where she sank the nine ball on the side pocket instead of her intended corner pocket.
“Amber played really well. I just thought if I was given a chance, I’d just play my game and hopefully get back in the match,” Amit said.
“And I was pretty lucky, especially on that last rack. What an ending. I kept on apologizing to Amber for the fluke at the end, but it was a good match. It could have gone the other way,” she added.
In contrast, the world No. 8 and reigning Asian 9-ball champion Centeno had a rough time in outlasting Belarusian Margaret Fefilova, 7-6, before thumping American Dawn Hopkins, 7-4.
Their recent triumphs set them up a third-round meeting on Friday.
No Filipina cue artist has ever won the tournament with Amit almost nailing the crown with a finals appearances in 2007. She also made it to the semifinals in 2018 and 2019.
The tournament follows a race-to-7 double elimination format with the last 16 participants advancing to the race-to-9 knockout stage.
The winner will get $30,000.