SINGAPORE — Teen sensation Chezka Centeno stunned six-time gold medalist Rubilen Amit in an exciting finals battle en route to winning her first-ever gold medal in the Southeast Asian Games women’s singles 9-ball event here at the OCBC Arena Hall 4 Tuesday.
Centeno, half the age of her idol Amit, won 7-5, and became the youngest ever billiards player to win the gold medal of the biennial meet.
The match was a clash between the present and future of Philippine women’s billiards — the 33-year-old Amit who has reaped medals for the country in the past decade versus the 15-year-old Centeno who Amit considers as her successor.
Their clash also gained the Philippines two medals as Amit, who had aimed to notch her seventh gold in the SEA Games, settled for a silver.
Centeno nailed the first three racks of the match to zoom to a 3-0 lead in the race-to-seven match. But Amit recovered and won four of the next five racks to tie it at 4-all.
Centeno went on to win the next two for a 6-4 lead, but Amit never backed down and trimmed her deficit to just one after taking the 11th rack.
However, Centeno grabbed the 12th and final rack of the match to seal the win.
The country’s 1-2 finish in the billiards event, coupled by Reyland Capellan’s gold in the gymnastics event, put the Philippines’s medal haul to 10 golds, 13 silvers and 25 bronzes as of 2:43 p.m.
Check out the full medal standings here.
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