Pinay Rubilen Amit captures second World 10 Ball title

Rubilen “Bingkay” Amit has once again become the embodiment of the Filipino fighting spirit. Or rather, the Filipina fighting spirit.

With a come-from-behind 10-7 victory in the final against England's Kelly Fisher, Amit wins the 2013 Yalin Women's World 10 Ball title in front of a packed crowd in Resorts World Manila and countless more watching on TV.

She replicated her feat from 2009 when she lifted the trophy in the inaugural running of the event, after defeating Shin Mei Lu of Chinese Taipei in the final.

Amit, from Mandaue, Cebu, is only the third Filipino potter to win two world championships. Efren Reyes and Ronnie Alcano have both won one 9 Ball and 8 Ball world title each.

The final was a nervy, see-saw affair that featured some bizarre errors from both players. The intense humidity from the packed crowd seemed to turn the rails into trampolines, making cue ball control a dicey proposition.

After Fisher, the 2011 champ, won the first two racks, Amit took rack three with a sensational two-rail kick on an obscured nine ball that also gave her perfect shape on the ten.

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Fisher went ahead 3-1 then Amit reeled off three racks on the trot to take a 4-3 advantage. She should have gone 5-3 ahead but scratched on the ten ball, resulting in 4-4. Fisher broke and ran out on the next rack then Amit missed the ten in rack ten, allowing Fisher to charge ahead 6- 4.

At 7-7 Fisher seemed destined to nose ahead when Amit bungled the three. But Fisher jawed the five, allowing Amit to take the 8-7 lead.

Fisher once again blundered in rack fifteen, scratching on the seven ball. Amit cleaned up for the hill.

The Englishwoman nicknamed “Kwikfire” sealed her fate by making one final error, a miss on a highly makeable eight ball, which permitted Amit to calmly run out the last three balls for the victory that sent the entire arena into rapture.

Amit collects US$21,000 for her week's work while Fisher settles for US$10,000. Amit also becomes the first two-time winner in the event's history. This is Amit's third time to reach a world championship final. In 2007 she lost the world 9 Ball final to China's Pan Xiao Ting.

The Filipina reached the final by defeating Chinese Taipei's Pei Chen Tsai 9-7 in a sloppy, error-filled semifinal. Amit never led until 8-7. She finished the match with a splendid 4-10 carom to book her final slot.

In contrast, Fisher obliterated Han Yu of China via a 9-2 scoreline in the other semi. Fisher played a brand of clinically efficient Pool that had some tipping her to win it all.

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But instead it is Amit, and not Fisher who earns a second world 10 ball crown. The victory is even sweeter considering Amit was the only Filipina to reach the knockout stage. Cheska Centeno, Iris Ranola, and Gillian Go all failed to make it out of their round-robin groups.

After the match Amit paid tribute to the hundreds of Pinoy fans who cheered her on. Then she and the other participants gamely signed autographs for the hordes of fans.

The victory continues a very fine year for Philippine Pool. Lee Vann Corteza won the prestigious China Open, then partnered with Dennis Orcollo to grab the World Cup of Pool in London, outplaying the Netherlands in the final match. Corteza also finished runner-up to Shane Van Boening in the U.S. Open 9 Ball Championship.

There will be more Women's Pool coming up in the next few days at Resorts World Manila, with the inaugural Queens Cup from November five to seven. The East versus West team challenge pits the West team of Allison Fisher, Kelly Fisher, Jasmin Ouschan, and Vivian Villareal against an East time comprised of Ga Young Kim, Amit, Tsai, and Chen Si Ming.

Follow Bob on Twitter @PassionateFanPH.