Two-time world champion Rubilen Amit got off to a good start by scoring back-to-back wins in the prestigious 2017 Amway eSpring International Women 9-Ball Championship being held at the Taipei Gymnasium in New Taipei City, Taiwan.
Amit, the 2009 and 2013 World Pool Ten-Ball titlist, overpowered Pia Blaeser of Germany (7-2) and Woo-Jin Lee of South Korea (7-0) to stay unbeaten in Group E of the tournament which offers $93,400 total prize fund.
The 35-year-old Mandaue, Cebu pride needs to win at least one of her two remaining assignments to secure a spot in the knockout stage.
She will be facing Han Yu of China and Hsieh Yu-Wen of Taiwan.
Defending champion Chezka Centeno, on the other hand, split her first two games in Group A of the event sanctioned by the World Pool-Billiard Association.
Centeno, 17, shocked former world champion Jasmin Ouschan of Austria, 7-3, but suffered a close 6-7 decision at the hands of Kristina Tkach of Russia.
Centeno, Ouschan, Tkach, and Taiwan’s Liu Shin-Mei and Wu Hsiao-Wen are in a tie with 1-1 each.
Ouschan bounced back with a 7-1 win over Wu while Liu handed Tkach her first loss via a 7-1 victory.
Wu, on the other hand, toppled Liu (7-2).
Centeno must win against Liu and Wu in her next games to earn an automatic spot to the main draw.
Only the top three players in each group will advance to the 24-player knockout stage and will have the chance to win the $34,000 top purse.
EMIL C. NOGUERA