RUBILEN Amit is grateful to have a father who supported her desire to become a billiards player.
Not many parents would encourage their children to take up a sport with a seedy reputation, and Amit is very glad to have a father who is a billiards enthusiast.
“Nag-start ako 12 years old from the province of Cebu,” said Amit during a recent SPIN Sidelines episode. “’Yung dad ko (Bobby) mahilig sa billiards, lagi ko siyang kalaro. ‘Yung older brother ko kasi, malayo ang gap so si Dad ‘yung kalaro ko.”
“I would say ‘yung parents ko ‘yung naka-recognize sa talent ko. Bumili sila ng la mesa para doon ako mag-ensayo at doon kami maglaro ni Dad. Everything fell into place,” she added.
The family moved to Manila to tend to their business and that helped Amit's career, with more tournaments for women in the Big City.
Amit said she never associated billiards with negative things, mainly because her father plays the game.
“Si Dad, leisure playing siya. Siguro kasi ‘yung sa approach din. Ang una kong pinaglaruan na billiard hall (sa Manila) was Superbowl sa Makati Cinema Square. Doon kami ni dad nung high school. Doon talaga ako natuto. Tinuturuan ako ni Dad ng mga basic. I guess ‘yung approach nila sa billiards, hindi ko nakita na it was a vice.”
“They were protective of me siguro and at the same time, may kundisyon sila na I have to finish high school. Kaya nung nag-college ako, nag-lie low din ako sa billiards kasi hindi ko kayang pagsabayin,” she said.
When the family moved to Manila, Amit began to compete in more tournaments. And while she racked up trophies, the biggest rewards for her are from family, such as a pair of Air Up Tempo shoes when she won a competition.
“Dito kasi ang mga tournaments. Sa Cebu may mga tournaments pero wala for women. Pang-lalaki at pang-professional. Dito talaga sa Manila ‘yung maraming amateur tournaments. I started Class C, and then worked my way up, Class B, Class A, Class O. That’s where I started,” said Amit.
With his success in the amateur circuit, Amit later became part of the national team and eventually became a two-time women’s 10-ball world champion. She has her family to thank for their all-out support.
“Ito talaga ang plano sa akin ng God at ang pinaka-instrument is ‘yung family ko kasi very supportive sila which is surprising kasi hindi ko inakala nung bata ako, hindi ko alam na may side pala ang billiards na bisyo siya tapos larong lalaki pero never ko naramdaman ‘yun sa parents ko,” she added.