Rañola, Amit vie in World 9-ball sans gov’t support
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Reigning Southeast Asian Games double gold medalist Iris Rañola outclassed Nicola Rossouw of Pretoria, South Africa, 7-4, at the start Monday of the Women’s World 9-Ball Championships in Shenyang, China.
Rañola is competing in the event along with former World 10-ball champion and former SEA Games gold medalist Rubilen Amit, who has yet to see action.
Both players entered the tournament without any support from the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee and are depending only on the kindness of their longtime supporter, Aristeo “Putch” Puyat of Puyat Sports.
Filipino players have been left to fend for themselves after a falling out with Billiard Sports Confederation of the Philippines (BSCP) president Arturo Ilagan over the formation of the team for the SEA Games last year.
Previous requests for funding for the world championship campaigns of the men’s and women’s teams were reportedly ignored by the BSCP, although PSC chair Richie Garcia said he is keen on supporting the pool players, including priority athletes Rañola and Dennis Orcollo, also a SEA Games gold medalist.
The Philippines is also fielding players in the World Team Championships to be held in Beijing late this month, again through the assistance of Puyat and businessman Perry Mariano of Bugsy Promotions.
The men’s team will also compete in the World 9-ball Championship in Doha, Qatar.
Meanwhile, the snooker players who are said to be in Ilagan’s good graces were able to go abroad last year for “training” trips.
In a related development, former World 9-ball champion Alex Pagulayan earned yet another title by topping the Canadian 8-ball Championships over the weekend.
Pagulayan, one of the top players of Puyat Sports, toppled local bet John Morra, 11-7, in the finals held at the Shooter Snooker and Sports Club in Ontario, Canada. Roy Luarca