THE giant SM mall chain is set to stage the richest bowling tournament in the country's history, offering prizes amounting to P5 million including P2M and a car to the champion.
Aptly billed as the SM Bowling Millionaires Cup, the month-long, nationwide tournament is open to amateurs regardless of age with an average of 210 or lower and is designed to rekindle the Filipinos' passion for bowling.
“That is the biggest prize ever in Philippine bowling history,” said former World Cup champion CJ Suarez, who is now SM Bowling Division manager, said during the press launch at the SM Bowling Center in Megamall.
Held to coincide with SM Bowling’s 25th year anniversary, the tournament kicks off with the preliminary rounds to be held in SM Bowling Centers around the country and offering P100,000 to the winner, P50,000 to the runner-up and P25,000 to the third placer.
The top qualifiers then compete in the finals where the winner will receive P2 million and a brand-new car. The second placer gets P500,000 and the third placer P250,000.
Philippine Bowling Congress (PBC) president Ronnie Mendoza said he hopes the lucrative tournament can serve as springboard for young bowlers, in much the same way SM ice skating rinks helped discover and develop Olympian figure skater Michael Martinez.
“We see a development of existing talent in this tournament and we will seek out new members for our national team,” Mendoza said.
Nicole Deato, assistant VP for SM Lifestyle, Education and Leisure Center, said they are expecting a huge turnout since the event has no age limit.
Qualifying rounds will be held in SM Bowling Centers in North Edsa (Nov. 1-30); Lanang, Davao (Nov. 1-30); Cebu (Nov.1-30); Mall of Asia (Nov. 1-Dec. 1); Fairview (Nov. 1-Dec. 2); Valenzuela (Nov. 1-Dec. 3); Southmall (Nov. 1-Dec. 4); and Megamall (Nov. 1-Dec. 5).
The center finals will be held at North Edsa (Dec. 1); Lanang (Dec. 1); Cebu (Dec. 1); Mall of Asia (Dec. 2); Fairview (Dec. 3); Valenzuela (Dec. 4); Southmall (Dec. 5); and Megamall (Dec. 6).
Registration starts on September 1 with a fee of P5,000.