Rubilen Amit shrugged off her first loss in the Women’s World 10-Ball championship by bundling off three foreign foes yesterday to reach the Final Four of the $75,000 event at the Robinsons Galleria in Ortigas.
The defending champion Amit opened her campaign in the knockout phase with an 8-2 rout of Canadian Joan Ashton, scraped past China’s Han Yu, 8-7, before whipping Line Kjoersuik of Norway, 8-2, to clinch a semifinal slot before an appreciative hometown crowd.
Next up for Amit is curvy Kim Ga-young of Korea, the former two-time World 9-Ball champion who lost the opening frame to compatriot Park Eun-ji before scoring an 8-1 victory.
The last two Final Four protagonists will come from the survivors of two interesting quarterfinal matches still being played at presstime last night.
Kelly Fisher of Britain and Li Jia of China were disputing one semifinal slot while Karen Corr of Ireland and Jasmine Ouschan of Austria were battling for the other.
The semifinals, starting at 2 p.m. today, will be race-to-9 affairs.
Amit, who lost to Taiwanese Tsai Pei-chen in their battle for Group 1’s top honors Wednesday, displayed her toughest form yet, although she conceded that all the breaks went her way in her semifinal-clinching win against Kjoersuik.
“I was very lucky (in this match),” Amit said in Filipino, as she addressed a clapping, yelling gallery. “I hope you all come back tomorrow and again give me the luck that I had today.”
But luck was also on her side against Han, the slender Chinese who came within two balls of showing the pint-sized Filipina the door in their quarterfinal clash.
Amit made the most out of Yu’s miss on the yellow-striped No. 9 in the 14th rack to tie it before wrapping up the win in the 15th.
That victory boosted Amit’s confidence no end as she won four of the first five racks against Kjoersuik, an intense blonde from Trondheim who has won 12 Norwegian Open titles but didn’t stand a chance against Amit.
Amit took a 6-1 lead before Kjoersuik won her second rack after Amit scratched on the break and she converted on an easy 2-10 combination.
The Norwegian, who edged Taiwan’s Tan Ho-yun, 8-7, to get to the quarterfinals, had a chance to come closer, making three great shots in a row before scratching on the pink 4.
“It was almost a pity to watch her because she was scratching a lot of shots,” Amit said. “That’s how lucky I was in this match.”