Day 2 of the Yalin Women's World 10 Ball Championship is in the books, and some of the game's top women are stamping their class at Robinson's Galleria.
But no nation is cleaning up quite like China.
Xiao Ting Pan, enjoying her first visit to the Philippines, is bullying Group 3 with a 4-0 slate. She has wins over Chinese Taipei's Pei Chen Tsai, Sweden's Caroline Roos, Japan's Akimi Kajitani, and Chinese Taipei veteran Shin Mei Lu.
Another Chinese player, 18-year-old Si Ming Chen, is also sitting at 4-0 in Group 4. The 2011 Philippine Open champ's conquests include a 6-0 TV table thrashing of the Philippines' Iris Ranola. The Zamboangan SEA Games gold medalist was visibly ill, coughing continuously, and was thus off her game. Ranola is 1-3 and is in real danger of missing out on the knockout stages. She plays Brittany Bryant of Canada tomorrow.
In the tournament format 48 players are drawn into eight round-robin groups of six. After the group stage concludes tomorrow, the top three in each group move on to the knockout stages, with all eight group winners earning a bye straight into the round-of-16.
Telegenic Fu Xiao Fang is another Chinese player who is looking to grab that first-round bye. She is atop Group 5 with four out of four wins, including a 6-2 mastery of Korea's Eun Ji Park.
It's the same story in Group 6, where China's Liu Sha Sha is in control with a 4-0 slate. Compatriots Wu Jiang and Zhou Dou Dou were two of her victims.
Pinoy fans will be thrilled to learn that Rubilen Amit is a perfect 3-0 after dumping B.R. Jung of Korea, Ine Helvik of Norway, and Chieh Yu Chou of Chinese Taipei. Ranola's Mixed Doubles partner, Efren Reyes, was at Galleria to cheer her on.
Korea's Yu Ram Cha is undefeated, having squeaked by defending champ Kelly Fisher of England, 6-5. Yu also swept aside Venezuela's Mirjana Grujicic 6-0 and bested 13-year old Cheska Centeno of the Philippines, 6-2.
Centeno is one of the Cinderella stories of the week. The youngster won a special qualifying event for Filipinas and can lay claim to three wins in Group 1 over Grujicic, Noriko Onoda of Japan, and Russia' Anna Mazhirina. Her hill-hill victory over Mazhrina took place on the TV table after the TV coverage was concluded. The slender, short-haired teen plays fast and loose with a perpetual smile on her face After Mazhirina was called for a time foul in the case game, Centeno calmly ran out. Her only loss was the setback to Yu Ram Cha.
Austria's Jasmin Ouschan is also at 3-0, having beaten Korea's former world 9 Ball champ, Ga Young Kim, 6-4 on the TV table. The Austrian finished the match out in style with a table-length bank on the 7 ball then another bank on the 9 ball before taking down the 10 in the tenth rack. She earlier beat Neena Praveen of India 6-1 and Kyoko Sone of Japan 6-3.Mirjana Grujicic. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.
The final day of group play winds up on Wednesday. Live TV coverage is on Studio 23 at 2 p.m. until Friday, with the exception of Thursday. Because of UAAP Basketball, the women's Pool will air starting 10:30pm on a delayed telecast basis for that night only.
The event gives out US$21,000 for the winner and US$10,000 for the runner up. The semifinals and finals will air live on Friday starting at 2 p.m.Fu Xiao Fang. Image copyright Bob Guerrero.
Amit won the inaugural running of this event in 2009. Ouschan prevailed in 2010 and Fisher lifted the trophy last year after defeating Tsai. The event is produced by Dragon Promotions and is sponsored by Chinese Billiards good manufacturer.