Just like they did in the Olympic Games, China is gearing up to rule Women's Pool.
The group stages has concluded at the Yalin Women's World 10 Ball Championship in Robinson's Galleria, with the field of 48 being halved to 24.
The top three in all eight groups gained passage to the knockout stages, with the group winner earning a bye straight to the Round-of-16. The rest must play one additional single-elimination match.
Filipinas Rubilen Amit and Cheska Centeno are safe into the first knockout stage, but the real story is the dominance of Chinese talent.
No less than four top Chinese lady shooters topped their groups, with three of them winning all their matches. Pan Xiao Ting obliterated all comers with a 5-0 slate in group 3. She punctuated her mastery by taking out a determined Lyndall Hulley from Australia, 6-4 on the TV table.
Hulley played nearly perfect Pool, only blemished by two scratches, to take a 4-3 lead. But Pan won rack 8 then broke and ran out the last two to finish in style.
Chen Si Ming also overwhelmed her group, going 5-0 in Group 4. The Chinese teenager will get the first-round bye while Iris Ranola was left out in the cold with a 2-3 record in the same group. Ranola defeated Canada's Brittany Bryant 6-2 on Wednesday but it wasn't enough and she finished fourth.
Fu Xiao Fang was another Chinese star who outclassed her groupmates with a 5-0 record. Eun Ji Park of Korea, with a 4-1 slate, also makes the knockout stage. She hammered Italy's Silvia Gaudino 6-1 on TV to take second place in group 5.Fu Xiao Fang. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.
Liu Sha Sha was the fourth Chinese group winner with a 4-1 record in group 6.
Jasmin Ouschan of Austria is also going straight to the round of 16 after winning all five matches in group 2.Jasmin Ouschan. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.
Yu Ram Cha of Korea duplicated her feat in group 1. That means defending champ Kelly Fisher of England will finish second at 4-1 and play in the round of 32.
Fisher blew out Centeno 6-1 in her last group game but Centeno makes it into the next round anyway thanks to wins over Anna Mazhirina of Russia, Venezuela's Mirjana Grujicic and Noriko Onoda of Japan.
Rubilen Amit fell to Chan Ya Ting on the TV table 6-4 in a sloppy match. But the pride of Mandaue, Cebu, is nonetheless qualifying for the knockout stage since she won all four of her other assignments.Rubilen Amit. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.
Amit drew level at 2-2 with the help of a breathtaking kick-in on the 7 ball. Chan, from Chinese Taipei, countered with a marvelous jump shot on the five ball in the next rack to retake the lead.
In rack 8 Amit looked set to level at 4-all but hung the 8 ball on the lip of the side pocket off a short cut. Chan cleaned up to go 5-3 ahead. Two racks later Chan ran out for the win and for the top spot in the group.
Unfortunately the draw will pit the two remaining Pinays against each other in the round of 32 with the winner meeting Xiao Ting Pan. The match between Amit and Centeno lags at 11:30 a.m.Wu Jing. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.
Because of live UAAP Basketball, Thursday's knockout matches will be taped and will air on Studio 23 at 10:30 pm on Studio 23.
The tournament will be whittled down to four players at the end of Thursday's play, with the semifinals and finals airing live on Studio 23 on Friday starting 2 p.m.Korea's Ga Young Kim gives Thorsten Hohmann a backrub. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.
The event, which is produced by Dragon Promotions, will give US$21,000 to the winner and US$10,000 to the runner-up. For more info may visit www.womensworld10ball.com or www.facebook