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Amit crowned world pool queen

Olmin Leyba (The Philippine Star) - November 5, 2013 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Rubilen Amit ruled the 2013 Yalin Women’s World Championship as she fought off nerves in a pulsating error-filled finale for a 10-7 triumph over Kelly Fisher of Britain at Resorts World Manila last night.

Amit proved steadier than the British ace in the see-sawing match, pouncing on world No. 4 Fisher’s costly miscues in the 15th to 17th racks to break free from a 7-7 standoff and cart away with the plum to the delight of a good-sized local crowd.

The victory, worth $21,000 (P900,000) validated Amit’s status as one of the region’s top female cuemasters.

“I just feel so blessed,” said Amit, raising a Philippine flag as she said her piece to the happy audience and thanked them profusely.

The Cebuana had previously reigned in the prestigious competition in 2009 and with this latest triumph, she has crowned herself as the very first two-time winner. Told about this during the live TV interview, Amit planted a kiss on host and organizer Charlie Williams.

“Hindi ko actually inexpect. Basta nag-prepare lang ako nang matindi without much expectations para hindi rin ma-pressure nang husto. Sinurrender ko rin kay God kung ano’ng plano niya sa akin dito (I never had much expectations here so as not to pressure myself further. I just trained so hard and left it all to God),” said Amit.

Amit cashed in on the 2011 champ Fisher’s errors in the crucial stages of the match to boost her title drive. 

After Fisher sank the five-ball in the unintended pocket and lost her turn, the Pinay ace ran out to seize an 8-7 lead. In the next frame, Fisher scratched her shot on the six-ball, enabling Amit to pocket the remaining balls and reach the hill, 9-7. 

But things seemed to go Fisher’s way in the 17th until a miss on an easy shot on the black 8 ball gave Amit the chance to go for the kill. She gamely cleaned up the table then held the cuestick high and hugged the referee as violet confetti showered the arena to herald the reign of the new queen.

“This title is sweeter than the first. Although I did prepare for the 2009 tournament, the preparation I did for this one is truly more rigid,” said Amit, who spent the last two months in serious training for the worlds.

Fisher settled for $10,000.

Next up for Amit is the Southeast Asian Games in Myanmar, where she will carry the fight for the country in the 9-ball and 10-ball events.

Earlier, Amit outlasted Chinese-Taipei’s Pei Chen Tsai in a nerve-wracking semifinal encounter, 9-7, to arrange a titular showdown with Fisher, who dominated Chinese Yu Han, 9-2.

Getting a bit of luck in the crucial stages of the match, Amit made Tsai pay for costly misses from the 14th rack on to pick up three straight frames that completed her fightback from 6-7 deficit and into the race-to-10 championship.

Amit reached the finals of the prestigious tourney for only the second time. She went all the way to the title the first time around in 2009.

“Swerte lang dahil dahil nag-error siya (I just got lucky she committed some crucial errors),” said Amit. “I couldn’t believe I won. Hindi maganda yung strokes ko at talagang na-feel ko yung nerves. Buti nakuha sa dasal (I was having a hard time with my strokes, probably due to nerves. Fortunately, my prayers were answered),” said Amit.

Tsai appeared on her way to the hill in the 14th when she sank a difficult shot on the 5-ball to the corner. However, she bungled her shot on a gimme 6-ball, handing the Pinay ace the opportunity to force a 7-7 standoff.

The Taiwanese ace gifted Amit with another opening in the next frame, failing to pocket the 5-ball which led to a clean up for the home bet, who also knocked down a pair of difficult shots along the way.

Tsai later had her chance to get on on the hill herself when the Cebuana ace miscalculated a safety and left an opening. Tsai, though, couldn’t connect on a 3-ball, and Amit went in for the kill, eventually clinching the W with a 4-10 combo.

“Ang hirap talaga umubos, buti na lang nagkaroon ng ganoong opportunity (It was really so hard to run out so I was lucky I got those opprotunities in the end),” said Amit, also thanking the crowd for giving him the needed support.

AFTER FISHER ALTHOUGH I AMIT BALL CEBUANA CHARLIE WILLIAMS CHINESE YU HAN FISHER KELLY FISHER OF BRITAIN TSAI
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