February 19, 2018, 7:59 am
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PH hosts Asian Youth bowling meet

TOP youth bowlers from Asia return to the country after two decades as the 19th Asian Youth Bowling Championships get going this Sunday with grand opening ceremonies at the Marquee Tent, EDSA Shangri-La Hotel in Mandaluyong.

Bowlers from 15 Asian countries will battle for honors from Oct. 23 to 28 at the newly-refurbished 38-lane Coronado Lanes at the Starmall in Mandaluyong in boys and girls singles, doubles, team, all-events, and the prestigious masters competitions.

Seeing action in the blue-ribbon event are bowlers from Australia, Bahrain, Chinese-Taipei, Guam, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Japan, South Korea, Kuwait, Macau, Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and host Philippines, according to Philippine Bowling Federation secretary general Alex Lim.

“We welcome the privilege of staging the Asian Youth Championships in Manila again since we last held it in 1997,” noted Philippine Bowling Federation president Steve Hontiveros of the event sponsored by the Philippine Sports Commission, Boysen Paints, Prima Pasta, Cebuana Lhuillier, F.R. Sevilla Industrial & Development Corp., Promax, Vectron Trade Corp. and Amstar Co. Inc.

Currently the secretary general of the Philippine Olympic Committee, Hontiveros served as the former president of Federation International des Quilleurs, now known as World Bowling, the world governing body of the sport.

Gracing the opening rites on Sunday are Asian Bowling Federation president, Sheikh Talal Mohammad Al-Sabah of Kuwait and Makati Rep. Monsour del Rosario, the chef de mission of the triumphant national team that saw action in the last 5th Asian Indoor Martial Arts Games in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan.

Del Rosario, who is also the Philippine Taekwondo Association secretary general and recently appointed by the Philippine Olympic Committee as the chef de mission of the Philippine contingent in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, will keynote the event also supported by NTN bearings, PLDT, Smart Communications, Rain Forest Mineral Water, R & M Preserves, Coronado Lanes. Edsa Shangri-la and Linden Suites are the official hotels.

Carrying the cudgels for the country in the weeklong tournament are Merwin Tan, siblings Praise and Gospel Gahol and Ivan Malig in the boys division and Bea Hernandez, Nina de Vera, R-Joy Daval Santos and Daphne Custodio in the girls division.

A protégé of Team Prima, Tan, a southpaw who bagged two gold medals in the 17th Asian Schools Tenpin Bowling Championships in Hong Kong last May, looms as the brightest prospect for the Philippines.

“I think Merwin has a good chance for gold in the boys division,” said national youth team coach Biboy Rivera. “Actually all of our bowlers have good chances since we will be playing on our home court and have been practicing regularly on these lanes.”

Bowling legend Paeng Nepomuceno, the head coach of the national team, said the national keglers have been practicing at the Coronado Lanes for nearly a month now.

The event is open to the public while tournament results can be viewed at the Asian Bowling Federation website www.abf-online.org.
 
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