AMIT CUP. World billiards champion and Amit Cup 9-Ball Championship founder Rubilen Amit poses for a photo with Leg 3 winners Charis Santos and Shane Lui Mongcal and co-founder Ren De Vera (from left) after the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Rizal Memorial Coliseum conference hall in Malate, Manila on Tuesday (Dec. 5, 2023). The 4th leg of the Amit Cup Season 2 will be held between the end of January and early February next year. (PNA photo by Jess M. Escaros Jr.)

MANILA – A bigger field is expected to see action when the fourth and last leg of the Amit Cup 9-Ball Championship Season 2 kicks off early next year.

Two-time world 10-ball champion Rubilen Amit said the number of participants could reach at least 100, based on the success of Leg 3 won by Charis Santos (Advanced champion) and Shane Lui Mongcal (Intermediate champion).

“It’s continuous growth. We started with 24 (participants), and now we’re at 100,” said Amit, who organized tournament to support female athletes.

“In terms of growth, steady talaga siya (it is steady),” added Ren De Vera, who co-founded the tournament that began in May 2022.

“This season ang average natin ay 70-plus, pero ‘yung trending niya pataas. And I would not be surprised na pagdating sa fourth leg umabot na tayo sa 128,” De Vera added.

The 42-year-old Amit was with De Vera, Santos, and Mongcal at Tuesday’s Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum held at the conference hall of Rizal Memorial Sports Complex in Malate, Manila.

The organizers are eyeing to hold Leg 4 by the end of January or early February.

De Vera said ranking points will determine the top 16 who will advance to the grand finals

“Ang main approach namin ni Rubilen dito (Our main approach here) is we want to simulate international play as much as possible, the environment as well as the systems implemented and the rules. So part of that is meron tayong (we have) ranking points so every time you win or whatever your performance is, may makukuha kang (you will earn) points,” he said

The tabulated points determine the intermediate and advance groupings.

Cash prizes and cue sticks provided by Predator await the winners.

The No. 1 player in the advanced level will earn a trip to Japan to represent the country in an international competition.

“Malaking step ‘yun kasi ito talaga ‘yung pinaka-goal namin (This is a big step because our main goal) which is to give our ladies a chance to play here and abroad,” Amit, a 10-time Southeast Asian Games winner, said. (PR)