By KRISTEL SATUMBAGA
Chezka Centeno got back at teammate Rubilen Amit by hacking out a pulsating 7-5 victory to advance to the Last 16 of the 2023 Kamui World Women’s 9-Ball Championship in Atlantic City, New Jersey Friday, Jan. 20 (Saturday in Manila).
Locked at 5-all, the 23-year-old Centeno showed nerves of steel, coming through with some delicate shots to win the last two racks and earn a berth in the knockout stage.
It was a sweet revenge for Centeno, who yielded to Amit in the gold-medal match in the Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam last year.
But all is not lost for Amit since she still has a chance to join Centeno into the next phase after being relegated to the loser’s bracket scheduled Saturday, Jan. 21 (Sunday in Manila).
She awaits the winner between Korean Seoa Seo and American Ashley Burrows.
Centeno’s opponent is still to be determined pending the completion of the preliminaries with the Last 16 slated to be played in a race-to-9 format starting on Saturday.
Other players who booked Last 16 slots early were defending champion Kelly Fisher of Great Britain, who blanked Korea’s Lee Woojin, 7-0; Germany’s Pia Filler, who thumped Bulgaria’s Kristina Zlateva, 7-3; Germany’s Melanie Sussenguth, who stunned 2019 finalist Jasmin Ouschan of Austria, 7-2; and Chinese Taipei’s Chou Chieh-Yu, who clobbered Japan’s Miina Tani, 7-1.
The tournament follows a double elimination format with the Last 16 participants advancing to the knockout stage.