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Centeno settles for silver

ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan – Filipino cue artist Chezka Centeno and poomsae bets Rodolfo Reyes Jr. and Jocel Lyn Ninobla settled for silvers in their respective sports in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) Friday at the Ashgabat Olympic Complex here.

Centeno, a two-time gold medal winner in the Southeast Asian (SEA) Games, was beaten by Chinese Han Yu following, 7-4, in the 9-ball women’s singles final at the Billiards Sports Arena.

The 18-year-old Centeno was up 3-1, but a miscue on the fifth rack gave Hun the break she needed, winning the next three racks to take the lead 4-3.

Though Centeneo managed to level the score at 4-4 following a good break, the Chinese star, a former World Games champion, clinched the next three racks, finishing the 11th rack on a 3-9 combination to grab the gold medal.

Despite the setback, national team Chef de Mission and Makati Rep. Monsour del Rosario commended the silver medal finish of the Zamboanga City native.

“I’m still happy for Chezka, sayang lang nga hindi nya nakuha yung ginto. Pero maraming events pa e, na puwede makakuha ang mga Pinoy sa billiards, and sa ibang sport na din. May mga lumalaban pa, so hopefully maka-medal pa tayo,” said Del Rosario.

Reyes and Ninobla also delivered silver medal each in the individual events at the Taekwondo Arena inside the 53-hectare complex – about 25km off the Iran border.

Reyes had a cumulative score of 116.3, behind the 119.7 points of Thailand’s Pongporn Suvittayarak. China’s Zhu Yuxiang took the bronze medal with a score of 115.6 points.

“First time kung gold sana,” said Reyes, who will use his silver medal finish as motivation in preparation for the 2020 Asian Games in Palembang.

Ninobla tallied 112.1 points as she placed second behind Iranian Marjan Salahshouri (113.7). Vietnam’s Nguyen Thi Le Kim pocketed the bronze medal (111.6).

The national team also got a bronze courtesy of weightlifter Kristel Macrohon after she got 209 points in the women’s 69kg. Assem Sadykova of Kazakhstan (222) won the gold medal, while Apolonia Vaivai won the silver medal (221).