Amit Advances with Come from Behind Victory in The World Games First Round

Rubilen Amit and Pia Filler

Rubilen Amit 9-8 Pia Filler

When Rubilen Amit missed a 9-ball in the corner pocket in the 14th game and allowed her opponent, Germany’s Pia Filler, to snatch the rack and build an 8-6 lead, it appeared her chances to advance to the quarterfinals of the World Games were all but gone.

“I just it seemed as if I lost hope of winning,” she said after the match. “That was actually a crucial shot.”

Thankfully for her, a small group of Filipinos from the Birmingham area were in attendance encouraging her to keep fighting – which she did, using safety exchanges mixed with a little bit of luck to win three straight racks and defeat Filler, 9-8, Thursday night.

“I’m very grateful for them because they kept the energy for me, because there were times where my energy was quite low and I was kind of down,” she said.

Amit missed the 1 ball in the 16th rack but watched as the cue ball rolled into an accidental safety, which allowed her to regain control of the table, clear the rack and pull within one game. She would add on another win when her opponent scratched while attempting to kick at the 7 ball. With the score now tied,

Amit broke open the rack and left the 1 ball perfectly nestled in the jaws of the far corner pocket.

There was just one issue: the cue ball did not have a path to the object ball, instead blocked by a nearby 3 and 7 ball. Amit opted to use the “push out” rule, allowing her to push the cue ball anywhere on the table and offer the shot to her opponent, who can then either take it or decline.

When Filler declined the shot, Amit soon realized she’d pushed the ball into an area of table that the vertically-challenged women could not reach, ultimately kicking at and failing to contact the object ball.

“When Pia returned a shot back to me, I was like smiling because I couldn’t reach the shot,” said Amit. “But then I was still quite still quite hopeful because the rack isn’t that easy to clear.”
Which is exactly what happened, as the German scratched after missing a sharp cut shot on the 3 ball. Amit the cleared the table to secure the win, as her newfound crowd of supporters erupted. “Their cheering was what was what kept me on was what kept me in the game,” said Amit.

Veronika Ivanovskaia 9-1 Soledad Ayala 

Fellow German Veronika Ivanovskaia jumped out to an early 4-0 advantage and cruised to an easily 9-1 victory over Argentina’s Soledad Ayala in the opening match of the evening session of Thursday night’s round-of-16 competition.

“I played quite solid I would say,” said Ivanovskaia. “I made the right shots and stood calm. All in all, I would say it was a good performance.”

The German experimented with her break during the match due to the cue ball reacting differently on the left side of the table in comparison to the opposite side, ultimately finding a spot which worked for her down the stretch.

After climbing onto the scoreboard in the fifth rack, the Argentinian continued to battle throughout the match but was unable to capitalize on many opportunities.

Ivanovskaia will now face Amit in the quarterfinals on Friday.

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz 11-8 Ko Ping-Chung

Francisco Sanchez-Ruiz produced six break and runs as he defeated Ko Ping-Chung 11-8 to reach the quarter-finals of Men’s Pool at The World Games in Birmingham, Alabama, USA.

The Spaniard is enjoying the most fruitful year of his career to date and produced a confident display to overcome a tough opponent in what was a tricky first-round draw.

It wasn’t until the 10th game that either player pulled more than one ahead of his opponent, and it was Sanchez-Ruiz who went 6-4 ahead before extending that lead to 7-4, benefitting from a little luck along with the way. Ko fought back to 7-6 but Sanchez-Ruiz arrived on the hill with a 10-7 lead.

Ko took the next game on his break, but Sanchez-Ruiz came up with his sixth runout of the match – the most by one player so far at The World Games – to complete the victory.

“It was an exciting match and I think I played really well but I had some luck in the middle of the match; I made two flukes,” said Sanchez-Ruiz. “I always take it round-by-round and I know Ko Ping-Chung is a champion so I stayed focused.

“A medal at The World Games would be like a dream, this tournament is so important for me. In the first half of the year I have won the Derby City Classic and a few weeks ago won the biggest title of my career [The World Cup of Pool] with my partner David Alcaide. I give 100 percent to every tournament and have played a lot, so I have to stay focused but I will keep trying my best.”

Sanchez-Ruiz has been taking advantage of the chance to compete alongside fellow Spaniard and three-time carom Gold medalist Dani Sanchez. “I learn a lot from Dani, he is one of the best players in the world. You have all disciplines here, lots of sports, and I am really happy to be here.”

Aloysius Yapp 11-3 Matt Edwards

Aloysius Yapp will form Sanchez-Ruiz’s opposition in the quarter-finals after an 11-3 win over New Zealand’s Matt Edwards. Yapp moved into a quick 3-0 lead before Edwards was on the board, but three games later Singapore’s Yapp was 6-1 ahead.

Edwards, struggling to get balls on the break, pulled himself back to 6-3 but Yapp took advantage of the New Zealander’s struggles and put five games together to complete a comfortable victory.

“Yapp is always a tough opponent,” said Edwards. “It’s the second time I have played him and he got revenge on me because I won last time. He is getting a lot of good results at the moment and I struggled a lot with the break. I was down early on and it is very difficult to comeback. I knew going down early on and him breaking quite well and shooting well would make it difficult to come back, so it was difficult to stay in the match.

“Without the break you have very little opportunity and when you do get one, a player like Yapp can play very good safety shots. I think he missed one ball but still hooked me, so it is frustrating when you’re not breaking well and then can’t execute the few opportunities you do get.”

The Olympic Channel is live streaming The World Games and billiards will feature on July 16 and July 17 when the finals take place. A full streaming schedule and links are at The match schedule, results, and live scores are at

Follow @wcbsbilliards on social media for full coverage of the billiards program from our team in Birmingham, Alabama.

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