MANILA, Philippines - Cheska Centeno rocked the billiards competition of the 2014 Philippine National Games when she won the gold medal over Rubilen Amit, the reigning World 10-ball champion.
The 14-year-old Centeno enjoyed a twice-to-beat advantage over Amit in the 10-ball finals that lasted until late Thursday night at the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.
Centeno, a crowd-drawer, lost the opening match, 9-7, before clinching the gold with a dramatic 9-8 win in the next match.
The count was at 8-8 when the 32-year-old Amit had a costly miss with only three balls left on the table. Centeno did not waste the opportunity and cleared for the gold.
In last year’s PNG, Centeno also defeated Amit in 9-ball although the gold medal eventually went to Iris Ranola.
Centeno took the bronze medal in 9-ball event won by Amit last Wednesday, and her father, Albert Centeno, was already planning their trip back to Zamboanga.
But his daughter insisted to stay on and give the 10-ball a crack. It turned out to be a wise decision, and the rising billiards star went on to win the gold.
“She really insisted saying, ‘Babawi ako sa 10-ball,’” said the father.
With her victory, Centeno got a special invite from the Billiards Sports Council of the Philippines to be part of the national team.
But the father isn’t jumping on the opportunity because it would mean that his 14-year-old daughter will have to leave their home in the province.
“She’s too young to be on her own here in Manila. She studies in Zamboanga and me and my wife cannot abandon our business in Zamboanga,” said the father.
At the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center, PJ Tierro outsteadied AJ Lim for the gold in men’s singles. Tierro later on teamed up with Marc Reyes to beat Johnny Arcilla and Ralph Barte, 6-3, 6-4, for the men’s doubles gold.
In women’s action, Marian Capadocia survived Khim Iglupas in the singles finals, 6-3, 5-7, 6-1. Capadocia and Clarice Patrimonio won the doubles gold with a 6-2, 6-3 victory over Tin Patrimonio and Iglupas.
In pencak silat, over at the Marikina Riverbank, winning gold medals were Alshamier Ibnohasin (men’s 45-50 kg), Nadzkie Asmad (men’s 50-55 kg), Jul Omar Abdulhakim (men’s 55-60 kg), Michael Tesoro (men’s 60-65 kg) and, Armando Ducoy (65-70 kg).
In motocross, ruling their events were Mark Reggie Flores, Darren Pallorina, Christopher Oberio, Kenneth San Andres and Lourens Bucag.