Published December 2, 2019, 6:25 AM By Jonas Terrado
Members of the women’s billiards team led by Chezka Centeno and Rubilen Amit are setting their sights on forging an all-Filipino finals in all three events of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Rubilen Amit and Chezka Centeno during the 2017 Kuala Lumpur SEA Games. (MB photo | Ali Vicoy)
Multi-time gold medalists Centeno and Amit will take part in the 9-ball and 10-ball singles while also teaming up in the 9-ball doubles of the event which starts Tuesday at The Manila Hotel Tent.
Former double gold winner Irish Ranola will join forces with debutant Floriza Andal as the second Philippine team in 9-ball doubles.
Centeno is eyeing a third straight gold in 9-ball after beating Amit twice in the finals of the past two editions of the biennial meet.
Amit has actually settled for silver in the last four editions, though she’s more motivated in assuring another showdown with Centeno for gold.
“Of course kami naman ni Chezka we want to win the gold. Pag laban, laban talaga,” Amit said. “Basta it’s a team effort, pag nakapasok kami sa finals then good and kung sino ang palarin sa match na yun, siya mananalo ng gold.
“Basta ang pinaka-importante is to take care of both sides. She’ll take care of her side and I’ll take care of my side,” the two-time world champion added.
The 20-year-old Centeno is likewise eager to meet see another face-off with her mentor.
“Sana po kami ulit maglaban para masaya,” said Centeno, who beat Amit for the first time in the 2015 Singapore Games with a 7-5 decision before rallying from a three-rack deficit to win 7-6 in the 2017 Kuala Lumpur edition.
They’ll be also looking to make it an all-PH affair for the gold in the 9-ball doubles with Ranola and Andal in what seemed like a teacher and student partnership.
Ranola will have bigger responsibilities as she will try to help Andal, a snooker specialist, get her feet wet in billiards.
“Pag nagkaroon po kami ng chance sa gold, I’ll make sure na madadala ko po teammate ko,” said Ranola, who claimed the 8-ball and 9-ball singles golds in the 2011 edition held in Palembang.’
“Mas matagal na po akong naglalaro sa SEA Games, yung partner ko first time pa lang. Mabait at masunurin po ang partner ko. Sabi niya, ako na daw bahala at makikinig naman po siya,” she added.
Andal made the roster after making a good impression during the qualifier for SEA Games spot earlier in the year.
The SEA Games had actually eluded Andal for years, falling short in previous qualifiers.
“Actually limang SEA Games na po ang dumadaan na di ako nakakasali. Siguro twice na po akong nakasali sa qualifier pero di ako nakapasok and wala pong snooker events sa SEA Games kaya excited po ako maglaro ngayon,” said Andal.
Tags: #SEAGames2019 , 2017 SEA Games , 30th Southeast Asian Games , Chezka Centeno , Floriza Andal , Irish Ranola , Rubilen Amit , SEA Games , Southeast Asian Games