HUSSAIN Alsuwaidi, a six-time Asian Bowling Federation Tour champion, seized control of the men’s open qualifying pool for foreign bowlers at the 2nd PBF Pagcor Philippine International Open.
The 2006 Asian Games double gold medalist rolled 1494 to move ahead of the field that included big names in the Asian circuit such as Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong (1477), Hassan Alshiekh of Saudi Arabia (1468), Australian Sam Cooley (1462), and Hong Kong’s Michael Mak (1375).
The top six foreign bowlers after the qualifying rounds of the tournament backed by Cafe Puro, Smart Communications, and Boysen Paints will advance to the finals along with the best six Filipinos in the men’s division led by defending champion Kenneth Chua’s 1522.
Cebuano Jomar Jumapao, the first local bowler to reach a record 1500 series early this week, maintained his stature at 1520, followed by junior ace Kenzo Umali (1497), JP Macatula (1476), Paulo Valdez (1467), RJ Bautista (1455), and Merwin Tan (1434).
The 27-year-old Alsuwaidi, the recent Arab Championships trios gold medalist, compiled a series of 748 and 746 at the Coronado Lanes at Starmall, Mandaluyong City, showing no trace of slowing down despite taking a break from the sport for almost a year.
Wu, who checked in fifth the other day, improved from 1416 as the bowling star from Hong Kong flexed his might after capturing the gold medal in the men’s trios of the 2017 World Championships.
“With the high-level competition, we really expect the scores to be high,” said Philippine Bowling Federation secretary general and bowling great Bong Coo.
“This tournament serves as the gauge if we can go toe-to-toe with Asia’s top bowlers in the coming Asian Games, especially in the men’s division,” added Coo, a four-time World Champion and the country’s most bemedalled athlete.
In the women’s open foreign qualifying round, Uella Marcial of United Arab Emirates and Linda Grzybowska of Malaysia braced themselves for an all-out clash with top Filipino bowlers led by World Cup champion Krizziah Lyn Tabora, defending champion Lara Posadas, Alexis Sy, Rachelle Leon, Liza Del Rosario, Bea Hernandez, and Dyan Coronacion.