YOUTH prevailed over experience as a 20-year old Davaoeña found herself richer by P2 million at the end of the country's richest bowling tournament.
Dianne Galendez, a business management graduate of Ateneo de Davao, beat 58-year-old Nelia Santos in a three-game final to win the first-ever SM Millionaires Cup held on Wednesday night in a two-lane alley specially set up at the ground gloor of the SM Fashion Hall at Megamall.
Coached by her dad, Galendez took the first game, 217-179, but missed a chance to go for the clincher in the second by a single pin in her last frame, 230-231, before showing steely nerves in winning the finale, 242-220, before a crowd that included bowling Hall of Famer Paeng Nepomuceno.
"Akala ko po wala ng chance pero go lang ng go," said the Chinabank employee, who also won a brand-new Chevrolet Sonic aside from the cash prize.
Santos received P500,000 as runner-up in the event that lured 150 participants in a 30-day qualifier held in SM Bowling centers nationwide.
Galendez's victory came as a fitting ending to the tournament, which aims to discover new prospects for the national team.
"I was so happy it was the youth bowler who emerged today because it means there's still hope for the sport," said SM Bowling Division head and former national bowler CJ Suarez.
Suarez said SM hopes to help Galendez hone her game, similar to what SM did for Olympic figure skater Michael Martinez.
However, Davao-based businessman Arturo Galendez said he does not see his daughter, a bowler since she was 11, joining the Philippine pool soon, citing the prohibitive cost of living in Manila.