For the sixth time, Rubilen Amit will be participating in the biennial Southeast Asian Games and the veteran campaigner goes into the competition ready. Tiebreakertimes caught up with Bingkay after her successful stint as captain of Team Asia in the 2015 Queen’s Cup.
Aeron Valderrama: From the last time we talked up until this point, what preparations have you done?
Rubilen Amit: Well, after the Queen’s Cup, I rested muna kasi dalawang magkasunod na tournaments yun. [The other one was Amway Cup in Taiwan.] And then after that, back to serious training na kami under coach Boy Luat. Parang, all year round naman kaming nag-eensayo. But siyempre, SEA Games, importante talaga for [the] country so pumukpok talaga. Normally, I do three times a week; nitong before the SEA Games, four times a week ako ng long hours.
What do you feel about your chances in the SEA Games?
Going into the tournament, I’d like to think that we have a very good chance of winning the gold medal, but ayaw kong isipin na parang kailangan talaga kasi I don’t want to pressure myself. Tsaka it’s anybody’s ball game; it’s a short race. I’m just praying lang talaga na sana ibigay Niya sa ‘tin itong ginto medalya.
The billiards team is composed of tested veterans, was there any pressure on you to perform well?
Siyempre, we feel pressured also. We feel the pressure na yung expectation nga for the billiards team ay andoon, tsaka medyo mataas. Pero ano talaga eh, ang pinaka-nagagawa kasi namin talaga is to prepare for it and hope for the best na sana nga mabibiyayaan tayo ng gintong medalya.
When are you usually informed of the draw?
I think meron na yata, pero ako hindi ko inaalam eh. Hindi ko inaalam kung sino yung kalaban ko. Ang inaalam ko lang ay yung schedule, not because parang hindi nagma-matter yun, kundi dahil isip ako ng isip napepressure ako kung sino ang kalaban ko. Ang ginagawa ko lang ay inaalam ko yung schedule at alam yun [draw] ng coach ko.
Was it added pressure that you know who you will be facing in the coming tournament?
It’s more of isip ka ng isip. Iisipin mo kung ano yung game niya. Sometimes it plays with your head eh. Until yung moment na malapit na kong lumapit sa table, dun lang [aalamin yung kalaban.]
How is your young colleague Chezka [Centeno] doing? What did you tell her?
Ngayon kasi we’re still here, ang paalala ko naman sa kanya parati is to take her of herself. “Matulog ka ng maaga kasi medyo uso ngayon yung sakit eh. Drink lots of water.” Pag andun syempre it’s more of the competition. Being here in a way, parang ate.
What were the words of motivation that you gave to her?
I guess I’ll be telling her dun pa, pero it’s more just to do her best, give her best, and not, kumbaga, pressure-in yung sarili niya – to motivate her without pressuring her. Yun yung gagawin ko for her kumbaga as guidance sa kanya.
Talking about chances to win; although we know that there are some events that were scrapped, what do you think of the chances of the whole team? Is there any projection from your camp?
I don’t know; I think they have projections pero ako hindi ko na inaalam yun yung mga projections na yan. So, ang ano ko dun is magtatrabaho na lang talaga. Pupukpok kami ng laro. We’ll really give our best at sana mauwi natin yung gintong medalya.
Have you seen how your competitors have been playing recently?
[Yung from] Indonesia alam ko – they trained in Taiwan for a month. Tapos ang Singapore, they got of the best players [of the sport], Allison Fisher, as their coach. So, talagang naghahanda rin talaga sila. They really improved din throughout the years eh. In the same way na kami rin, I would like think na nag-improve rin kami.
Where have you seen them play lately?
We competed dun sa Amway Cup sa Taiwan, two months ago.
Who did you see there?
Nakita ko dun is yung siguro pinaka-competition talaga, si Angeline Ticoalu [ng Indonesia]. She placed third actually. Natuwa nga ako, she played very well. I went to her and told her na parang “I’m proud of how you performed. I’m happy that you placed third.” We’re friends din talaga off the hall.
Pre-quarterfinals of women’s 9-ball event are scheduled on Saturday, June 6. Amit hopes to last up to June 9, when the gold medal match for this lone billiards event for women cue artists this 2015 Games happens.