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    Tito Sotto says this is one of the reasons why PH bowling has declined

    Dec 3, 2019
    PHOTO: Lance Agcaoili

    BACK when he was still active in bowling, Senator Tito Sotto bared he and fellow bowlers like four-time World Cup champion Paeng Nepomuceno spent hours in the lanes because a game then only cost P2.

    Today a game in bowling centers set up in malls will cost from P300 to P500.

    The bowling World Cup veteran turned Philippine Bowling Federation chairman believes the high cost is one of the reasons Philippine bowling has declined, both in tems of popularity and the performance of Filipino bowlers in the international stage.

    “Ang nangyari kasi sa bowling lately, napansin ko, in the last few years, unlike ng mga panahon namin nila Paeng and Bong [Coo], mura bowling nun eh,",” Sotto said during the opener of the 30th Southeast Asian Games bowling competition on Tuesday at the Coronado Lanes in Starmall EDSA.

    "Lately mahal, kaya limitado ang mga nakakapaglaro. Naging mahal na mahal ang bowling eh.

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    "Alam niyo ba kung magkano bayad namin sa bowling per game nung panahon namin? Two pesos per game.. eh ngayon 300, 200 or 400. Noong araw, two pesos lang. kaya babad kami sa bowling. Kami nila Paeng, babad kami,” he added.

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    That’s why Sotto and fellow PBF officials Nepomuceno, Coo, Steve Robles and Stephen Hontiveros have come up with a dream project to build a tenpin bowling complex in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac.

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    I have already discussed this with the leadership of the Philippine Bowling Federation,” Sotto said. “We’re getting a one-hectare property in the New Clark City and we will be building a bowling complex that will be of international standards and world-class.”

    The bowling complex, Sotto said, will be the main venue for the training of national bowlers and help promote the sport in the grassroots level.

    “Magkakaroon tayo ng grassroots development sa bowling. Marami tayong magaling na players eh, di lang nakakapaglaro,” he said.

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      “We look forward to something like that in New Clark City. Yun ang kailangan natin. Hindi lang aabot sa SEA Games eh pero hopefully, within a year, mabuo natin yung bowling center for the Philippine Sport Commission at hindi magkakaroon ng mga problema.”

      The former national athlete said the bowling center will be the main focus on the association after the SEA Games campaign.

      “Tapusin lang natin itong SEA Games [then sisimulan na ang building non]. We’ll be sitting down with the people concerned and pati design pag-uusapan namin,” said the actor and television host.

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      Sotto and his fellow PBF officials were around on Tuesday to witness Liza Del Rosario crash to eighth place and three other Filipina bowlers finished outside the Top 10 from 28 participants in the women’s singles.

      “Sa singles we were expecting a medal from our ladies but probably what happened was sa tingin ko malakas ang performace bigla ng mga kalaban eh,” Sotto said.

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      Though the national bowling team started off on the wrong foot in the SEA Games, Sotto remained optimistic the Filipino bowlers will deliver medals in the coming days.

      “From either the men’s and the ladies. We look forward at least one a day in the next four or five days kaya dapat meron tayong panalunin, we were expecting that,” Sotto said. “Then again siguro marami tayong matututunan din dito sa mga pangyayaring ito so that we can prepare better for the Asian Games just in case.”

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      PHOTO: Lance Agcaoili
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