Two-time world champion Rubilen Amit and Southeast Asian Games champion Chezka Centeno posted two straight victories in their respective groups to advance to the main draw of the 2017 Women’s 9-Ball World Championship being held at the County Gymnasium in Chengmai County, Hainan in China.
Amit, the 2009 and 2013 Women’s World Ten-Ball titlist, opened her campaign with a 7-5 victory over Kristina Tkach of Russia then followed it up with a 7-2 win over Kyosuke Sone of Japan in the second round of Group 2.
The 18-year old Centeno also had a flawless start, beating Kim Bo Geon of South Korea in the first round (7-4) and Shi Tianqi of China in the second round (7-3) in Group 5 of the tournament sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association.
Joining Amit and Centeno in the knockout stage are Kuo Szu-Ting of Taiwan and Yang Fan of China, who likewise notched two victories in their own groups.
Kuo toppled Jane Perez of Mexico (7-4) and Yin Lim of South Korea (7-1) while Yang blasted her compatriots Liu Xia Zhi (7-5) and Ge Bai (7-4) in the $175,000 event.
A $43,000 cash prize awaits the winner while the runner-up gets a $21,000 consolation purse.
The losing semifinalists will receive $11,000 each.
Amit fresh from winning the 2017 Guri International 9-Ball Championship held at the Guri Sports Complex in South Korea last month.
The Zamboanga City pride Centeno claimed her second straight 9-ball title in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in August.
They both earned silver in the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games held in Ashgabat, Turkmenista in September.