DEFENDING champion Rubilen Amit of the Philippines struggled yesterday due to lack of lack of tournament play, needing breaks in the last two racks before scoring a 6-3 victory over American Angel Paglia in the Women’s World 10-Ball championship at the Robinson’s Galleria in Pasig.
After competing in the China Open, Amit, 28, hardly touched a cue stick and this showed as she committed several bad shots, winning only when Paglia committed several miscues in the stretch.
"I hope I could do better next time. It goes to show how nervous I was going into this match. Maybe I’ll take a rest and keep my mind off billiards for a little while since this is my only match of the day," said Amit, an accounting graduate from University of Santo Tomas.
Amit, who won last year’s title as an underdog, beating beat Chinese Taipei’s Shin-Mei Liu 10-4 in the finals, takes on fellow Filipina Ana Tulauan at noon, one of four matches she is slated to play in two days at Nuvo City in Libis,Quezon City. Her other match today is against Johanna Espinosa of Venezuela.
Tomorrow, she is up against American Dara Aft and China Open winner Tsai Pei Chen of Chinese Taipei.
Now ranked No. 3 in the world, Amit cleaned up the opening rack en route to an early 2-0 lead. But her lack of tournament play soon showed as she missed what looked like easy shots, one of them in the seventh rack, a long shot on the seven-ball that gave Paglia a chance to forge a 4-4 count.
The veteran Paglia, however, scratched on the nine-ball, giving Amit a clean path to a 5-3 lead.
Another missed shot by Paglia on the three-ball in the next rack gave Amit more breathing room and she sank the last eight balls to boost her bid for the top prize of $20,000 in the $75,000 tournament.