Rubilen Amit runs into serious challenge from American Angel Paglia, left photo, in the first day of the Women’s World 10-Ball Championship at Robinson’s Galleria. Joey Mendoza
MANILA, Philippines - Rubilen Amit was a little bit shaky but got away with a 6-3 win over her American opponent as the 2010 Yalin Women’s World 10-Ball Championship got going yesterday.
The 28-year-old Filipina, the reigning champion, managed a smile after her opening match against Angel Paglia of Arizona at the Robinson’s Galleria in Ortigas.
Amit got off to a fast start. The opening rack was over in just 166 seconds and even before the crowd warmed up their seats it was 2-0 in her favor.
Everybody started thinking of a rout but after a dry break from Amit, her first of three for the match, Paglia rose from her plastic chair to cut the deficit to 2-1.
In the fourth rack, Paglia penalized herself after sinking the No. 5 on the left corner pocket.
“I fouled. I touched the cue ball with my stick. It’s yours,” she told Amit of her infraction that escaped the eyes of Filipino referee Troy Danao.
Amit said “thank you” as she got up, and with ball in hand she cleared the rack and moved up to 3-1.
“It was a miscue even the referees or the TV cameras don’t see. It was the slightest touch on the cue ball only the players would feel. But they are professionals,” said the referee.
“I felt it (foul). I just didn’t know if I should tell it to the referee or Rubilen. I was really focused in the match but then somehow I lost it. Then I felt a little shaky,” said Paglia.
Paglia was rewarded for her honesty when Amit had a dry break on the fifth rack. The American didn’t waste the opportunity with a perfect 7-and-10 combination for a 3-2 count.
She had the equalizer on her hands when she was trailing 4-3. But she committed another foul using the bridge for what looked like an easy shot with the No. 9.
In that rack Amit also had a couple of miscues, on the No. 4 and No. 7. But they didn’t really matter because Paglia had her own each time she was given a chance.
Soon it was 5-3 and then 6-3 for the Filipina champion.
“It only showed how nervous I was. I had a couple of misses, too. But I hope to do better in my next match,” said Amit, still one of the favorites for the $20,000 champion’s purse.
The Asian Games-bound FIlipina, shorter than most of her opponents, will play her match at the other venue today, at the Nuvo City in Eastwood.
World No. 1 Allison Fisher of England also got off to a good start, scoring a 6-2 win over Venezuelan beauty Mirjana Grujicic while Canadian Tiffany Bryant electrified the male fans in her 6-2 win over 13-year-old Filipina Gillian Go.
Go, who finished in the top 24 last year, was all set to take the opening rack but missed an open shot at the No. 10, and failed to get going the rest of the way.
It was the second loss on opening day for the youngest player in the field who also lost to 2007 Canadian Open champion Joanne Ashton, 6-3, at the Nuvo venue.
Amit will play there at around noon today, first against her compatriot Ana Tulauan, a qualifier, and Venezuela’s Johanna Espinosa at 6 p.m.