By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
Senior Reporter

AFTER A BUSY 2019 where she competed in various tournaments that spawned good results, Filipino billiards star Rubilen Amit said this year would be a quiet one but she is not letting it go to waste, taking it as an opportunity to focus on her health and wellness.

Ms. Amit was all over the place last year competing, positioning well which she considers a blessing.

She first competed in the Japan Open in July where she placed second then followed it up with another runner-up finish in the China Open in September.

Ms. Amit, 38, then suited up for the national team in the 30th Southeast Asian Games, producing two gold medals (9-ball singles and women’s 9-ball doubles) and a silver (10-ball singles).

She capped the year by winning bronze in the 2019 Women’s World 9-Ball Championship in December where she also won the sportsmanship award.

“It was a very good year for me in 2019. It was such a blessing,” said Ms. Amit, who was included in the list of 50 greatest Filipino athletes of all-time in the 2020 edition of the Philippines Yearbook, in an interview.

But unlike last year, Ms. Amit, currently the number four women’s player in the world, will be having a slow year in 2020 as most of the high-profile competitions will take place in 2021.

She said she will take the downtime to stay fit and prepare for the tournaments ahead.

“2020 will be quiet. First half of the year there are not much events. Probably things will pick up in the third and fourth quarter. I will take this break as an opportunity to stay fit for next year where there will be a lot of tournaments,” she said.

Tournaments she is targeting for next year are the World Games in Birmingham, USA; Asian Indoors in Thailand; and SEA Games in Vietnam.

These are apart from the world ranking tournaments she is set to compete in.

The Cebu native added she is hoping that billiards will be included in the 2022 Asian Games in China after being dropped in the two previous editions of the sporting meet.

Moving forward, believing that billiards is something that Filipinos can truly excel in, Ms. Amit expressed hope for the sport to be given the support and attention it deserves.

She cited her achievements and those of Efren “Bata” Reyes, Francisco “Django” Bustamante and, now, Chezka Centeno and Carlo Biado, among others, as a testament to the great potential of the sport among the Filipinos.

“There are a lot of opportunities in billiards, but I guess right now that’s the cycle and other sports are having more exposure and the limelight. But I believe billiards’ time will come again. There are many world-class talents here in the sport,” Ms. Amit said.