12th June, Manila: 2017 champion, Kenneth Chua of RP, Philippines is poised to challenge for the Men's Open Masters title of the PBF 3rd Philippine International Open after securing pole position in the qualifying leaderboard on Wednesday.
Chua, who missed the stepladder finals cut for last year's championship by seven pins, is determined to do better this year after topping the Men's Open Masters qualifying table with two stunning 743 and 740 series for a total of 1483.
The 27-year-old Filipino will earn a bye and automatically advance to Round 2 finals as one of the top 6 qualifiers in the local pool. 2017 Asian School Singles gold medallist, Kenzo Umali impressed since moving up to the senior ranks by taking up second spot with 1433.
2019 Asian Youth Singles gold medallist, Merwin Tan has also made tremendous progress in the senior ranks with a third-place finish on 1426. Joining the trio are 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games Singles bronze medallist, Frederick Ong, Jonas Baltasar and Kevin Cu taking up fourth to sixth positions.
In the overseas pool, 2017 SEA Games Team gold medallist, Muhd Jaris Goh of Singapore took over the lead with an improved second 3-games series of 704 to take his 6-game tally to 1486. Jaris rolled the tournament's first 300 yesterday for a 782 series.
Hardy Rachmadian was Indonesia's best performer moving up into second spot with 1482 while overnight leader, Timothy Tham of Singapore slipped down to third with 1441. His team-mate, Basil Ng, Abdulla Ali of Bahrain and 2019 Asian Youth Doubles and Team gold medallist, Brandon Ong rounded out the top six.
The top 6 overseas qualifiers will also automatically advance to Round 2 finals. Qualifiers positioned 7 to 12 in the local pool, qualifiers positioned 7 to 12 in the overseas pool and the top 20 qualifiers in the local and overseas (mixed) pool along with the defending champion, Sam Cooley of Australia and 3 qualifiers from the one-game Desperado squad will contest the 8-game Round 1 on Saturday, June 15.
The top 12 finishers from Round 1 will be joined by the 12 seeded qualifiers (the top 6 from local pool and the top 6 from overseas pool) for another 8-games in Round 2 finals on June 16. The top 3 finishers at the end of Round 2 finals will advance to the stepladder shootout finals to determine the champion.
In the Ladies' Open division, Philippine are well represented with 2017 champion, Lara Posadas-Wong emerging as a strong contender to regain the crown she failed to defend last year. Posadas-Wong registered two convincing 3-games series of 690 and 748 to take up pole position in the local pool with 1438.
Adding to Philippines' challenge are Dyan Coronacion and reigning AMF World Cup champion, Krizziah Tabora in second and third with 1421 and 1358 respectively. Making up the top 6 are Alexis Sy, Bea Hernandez and Mades Arles in fourth to sixth positions.
Malaysia's Nurul Alyssa shared the lead in the overseas pool with 2019 Asian Youth Team gold medallist, Amabel Chua of Singapore on a total of 1241. Overnight leader and 2019 Malaysian Open champion, Charlene Lim of Singapore slipped down to third with 1234.
Two additional Singaporeans and 2019 Asian Youth Team gold medallists, Jermaine Seah and Charmaine Chang occupied fourth and fifth positions while Indonesia's Putty Armein completed the top 6.
Qualifiers positioned 4 to 6 in the local pool, qualifiers positioned 4 to 6 in the overseas pool and the top 9 qualifiers in the local and overseas (mixed) pool along with the defending champion, Liza Del Rosario of Philippines and 2 qualifiers from the one-game Desperado squad will contest the 8-game Round 1 on Saturday, June 15.
The top 6 finishers from Round 1 will be joined by the six seeded qualifiers (the top 3 from local pool and the top 3 from overseas pool) for another 8-games in Round 2 finals on JUne 16. The top 3 finishers at the end of Round 2 finals will advance to the stepladder shootout finals to determine the champion.
Qualifying will continue through to the last squad at 10.00pm on Friday June 14. The Open Senior and Youth Masters finals will be held on June 14 while the Graded Masters finals will be staged on June 15.
The third edition of the new PBF Philippine International Open is sponsored by Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (Pagcor) and other sponsors including Boysen Paints, Smart Communications, MVP Foundation, Cafe Puro, Prima Pasta, The City Bowling Shop, Jollibee, The Bowler and Timberpro.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Manila, Philippines.
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