ASHGABAT, Turkmenistan: Chezka Centeno moved to the gold-medal game following her 7-3 win over China’s Liu Shash in the semifinal of the women’s 9-Ball Pool Singles in the 5th Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games (AIMAG) Thursday evening at the Ashgabat Olympic Complex here.
The 18-yrea-old Centeno won six of the first eight racks against the 24-year-old Liu in their Race-to-Seven encounter, before Liu took ninth rack to cut Centeno’s lead to 6-3.
After a mistake by Liu on the 10th rack, Centeno did not waste the opportunity as she closed out the match for a spot in the final opposite China’s Han Yu. The match is being played at press time at the Billiards Sports Arena.
A native of Zamboanga City, Centeno will try to add the AIMAG title to her recent win when she captured her second straight gold in the Southeast Asian Games (SEA) Games in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
Bowler Kenneth Chua and Muay Thai bet Philipp Delarmino lost in the final of their respective events to settle for silver medals, but were cheered by the Philippine delegation headed by Chef de Mission Monsour del Rosario and Philippine Olympic Committee (POC) First vice president Joey Romasanta.
Chua fell to Thailand’s Annop Arromsaranon, 247-212, in the men’s singles final at the Bowling Arena, while Delarmino suffered 30-27 defeat to Thailand’s Chotichanin Kokkrachai in the -57kg men’s final at the Muay Thai Arena.
The national team also earned bronze medals Thursday from Carlo Biado in the men’s 9-Ball Pool Singles and Al Rolan Llamas in the men’s -60kg in Kurash. Biado lost to Taipei’s Chang Jung Lin, 9-2, in the semifinal, while the Llamas sustained a 10-0 defeat to Turkmenistan’s Erkin Omurzakow at the Martial Arts Arena.
Team Philippines, so far, has captured two gold medals as the Jiu Jitsu fighters Margarita “Meggie” Ochoa and Annie Ramirez ruled their respective events, while Rio Olympics veteran Hidilyn Diaz and Asian Champion Eric Cray settled with silver medals.
Also with silver medals are Jiu Jitsu’s Gian Taylor Dee, Marc Alexander Lim and Jenna Kaila Napolis, while bronze medal winners are Kristopher Robert Uy, Francis Aaron Agojo and Kristie Elaine Alora in Taekwondo, Alvin Lobreguito in Traditional Wrestling and Jefferson Manatad in Belt Wrestling.
The winners are set to receive cash incentives of P2 million for the gold medal winners, P1 million for silver medalist and P400,000 for bronze medalist from the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).