Billiards

PASSING OF THE TORCH? | Amit still ‘present’ of Philippine billiards despite rise of ‘future’ Centeno

InterAksyon.com/Rey Joble

InterAksyon.com/Rey Joble

SINGAPORE – Filipina Rubilen Amit was dethroned as the Southeast Asian Games’ queen of billiards as the five-time gold medalist was knocked off in the finals of the women’s 9-Ball event on Tuesday. And it was her compatriot and likely successor – teen sensation Chezka Centeno – that accomplished the feat.

It was the second time that Centeno had defeated her idol in her young billiards career and it starting to look as if a passing of the torch from Amit to the 16-year-old Centeno will be happening in the not-so-distant future.

Billiards and Snooker Congress of the Philippines head Bong Ilagan believes, though, that despite the rise of Centeno, Amit is going to remain on the top of her game for quite a while.

“I don’t think so,” he told InterAksyon.com in an exclusive interview. “We still have the present and future of Philippine billiards and this is good for the sport.”

Centeno admitted that she had mixed feelings after beating her idol, who has been winning medals for the Philippines in the biennial regional meet since 2005, for the gold in Singapore.

She doesn’t believe that it’s time for her to replace Amit as the Philippines’ finest women’s player, instead looking forward to both of them competing at a high level at the same time.

“Kailangan pa rin siya (ng billiards),” Centeno said.

“Kailangan kaming dalawa. Mas maganda kung kaming dalawa yung andito (to play for the Philippines).”

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