After missing out on the top three in the first three events, the Philippines finally landed on the podium of the 30th Southeast Asian Games bowling on Friday night.
In the four-man event of the competition, the Filipino and Filipina keglers came out with a strong showing, churning out medal finishes before the ecstatic home crowd inside the Coronado Lanes in Starmall EDSA.
“Sobrang sarap ng feeling. Sobrang surreal kasi alam ko lahat ng mga supporters, talagang all-week nagpapagod sila, sumisigaw sila para sa ‘min. So sobrang salamat namin talaga. Itong panalong ito para sa kanila talaga,” Kenneth Chua said.
Merwin Tan struck the most pinfalls among keglers with a whopping 1373. His massive six-game series propelled the Philippine contingent to a total of 4937 en route to silver.
Patrick Nuqui (1270 pinfalls), Frederick Ong (1174), and Chua (1120) also delivered solid outings.
“It feels great. It really feels great kasi the whole week we were there. We were so close in getting medals and finally eto, naka silver medal na kami. It feels really great. And all the hard work paid off. Lahat ng struggles namin, we just forgot about it at talagang lumaban na lang kami sa last event,” said Nuqui.
Malaysia’s quartet of Rafiq Ismail, Tun Hakim, Timmy Tan, and Ahmad Muaz spearheaded the pack and snared gold with a total of 4,980. Thailand then completed the podium finishers with a total of 4896 behind the collective hats of Atcharita Cheng, Surasak Manuwong, Annop Arromsaranon, and Yannaphon Larpapharat.
Meanwhile, 19-year-old Bea Hernandez had the most pinfalls over at the distaff division, knocking down 1370. Her performance buoyed the Nationals on the podium with a total of 4735 for bronze.
The Philippines also pulled much-needed contributions from Lara Posadas-Wong (1185), Alexis Sy (1169), and Liza Del Rosario (1011).
Daphne Tan, New Hui Fen, Shayna Ng and Cherie Tan garnered a total of 4833 to lift Singapore atop the podium. Malaysia’s Esther Cheah, Sin Li Jane, Shalin Zulkifli, and Siti Safiyah Amirah took home bronze with 4803.
“Well we worked as a team kasi before, previous SEA games naman, the team has always been there. Of course, it’s extra special kasi last ko na rin na SEA games ‘to so I’m so proud of the team,” said Del Rosario, who ends her stint in the biennial meet with a bronze medal dangling around her neck.
After making it through the top 16, Filipina keglers Hernandez, Sy, and Posadas-Wong now turn their attention to the women’s masters event which starts on Saturday. Also making the cut for the Philippines are Tan and Nuqui in the men’s masters.