Cue artists pluck 2 golds

HANOI, Vietnam – The Philippine billiards team yesterday capped its campaign in the 31st Southeast Asian Games by sweeping the two gold medals at stake in 10-ball singles at the Ha Dong Gymnasium.,Rubilen Amit, of Mandaue in Cebu, defeated compatriot Chezka Centeno in the women’s finals, 7-5, to cement her status as perhaps the greatest female cue artist this biennial event had ever seen.,It was the second gold medal for Amit here in Hanoi after ruling the 9-ball singles earlier this week, and her 10th overall beginning with two singles gold medals in the Manila edition in 2005.,Amit was World 10-Ball queen in 2009 and 2013.,“Natutuwa ako dahil Philippines versus Philippines sa finals. Walang pressure na mapunta sa ibang bansa ang gold,” she said after beating Centeno, a dear friend when off the table, for the gold.,“It’s always a pleasure to play Chezka. No lead is safe with her. It showed kanina nung 5-2 ako and I made an error and naging 5-5 agad. Naging ma-swerte lang ako,” said Amit.,Centeno, a two-time SEAG winner in 10-ball, settled for the silver this time. She crashed out early in the 9-ball singles.,In the men’s side, Carlo Biado avenged his finals loss to Johann Chua in 9-ball singles with a 9-3 victory in yesterday’s 10-ball singles.,It was a familiar scene at the packed gymnasium with two Filipinos vying for the gold, trading wonderful shots and exchanging high-fives in the end.,Both Biado and Chua broke into a smile after the former sank the 10-ball on the right corner pocket. The 2021 US Open champion and 2017 World Games champion raised his arms in victory.,It was a memorable stint for the Philippine team here, its members led by Efren “Bata” Reyes coming home with four gold, four silver and two bronzes, one of them courtesy of the 67-year-old icon.,In 2019, the team had a 4-3-5 medal haul.