4th March, Doha: 2018 World Men Championships Team bronze medallist, Muhd Jaris Goh of Singapore topped Squad B qualifying round of the PBA-WBT H.H. Emir Cup 2019 after the first block of six games.
Jaris Goh set a blistering pace with 267 in his opening game to lead team-mate, Timothy Tham by 3 pins followed by a third Singaporean, Joel Tan in third on a 242 opener. Jaris Goh added another sizzling game of 246 in the second game to open up a gap of 25 pins over Tham.
The leader continued to set a strong pace with a third game of 240, extending his lead even further. Top Qatari verteran, Yousef Al Jaber gradually moved up the field to take over second spot with 198, 247 and 224 as Tham slipped to third.
Jaris Goh's lead was reduced slightly to 65 pins after he managed only 212 in the fourth game. A second Qatari, Abdulrahman M Jaidah posted a scintilating 265 to leapfrog into second while Tham remained in third.
Al Jaber then fired the tournament's first 300 in the fifth game to move back up to second. Jaris Goh recovered with 247 to hold his lead, albeit only 47 pins ahead. A fourth Singaporean, Alex Chong moved into third ahead of Tham.
Jaris Goh kept his composure to end the first block with 244 and led the squad with 1456. Al Jaber settled for second with 1376, 80 pins behind while Jaidah held on to third with 1337. Keith Saw of Singapore finished fourth with 1305 with Tham and Chong shared fifth spot with 1277. The 26 bowlers in Squad B will resume with their second block of six games tomorrow.
Players will bowl two blocks of six games in each of the Squads A, B, C and D. The top 8 local qualifiers will earn a bye and advance automatically to Step 2 finals. Qualifiers positioned 9 to 25 (17 players), top 3 qualifiers after the position 25 reserved for Qatari and 4 qualifiers from the one-game desperado squad will qualify for the six games Step 1 finals.
The top 12 finishers in Step 1 finals will be joined by the top 8 local qualifiers for another six games in Step 2 finals. The top 6 finishers after Step 2 finals will advance to Step 3. Finishers positioned 3 to 6 will bowl two games in Step 3 finals and the player with highest total pinfalls will advance to Step 4 finals facing the second seed from Step 2 over a two-game total pinfalls.
The winner of Step 4 finals will square off with the top seed from Step 2 finals over two-game total pinfalls for the title and the top prize of US$20,000. The champion will be awarded an international PBA title if he/she is a PBA member.
Squad C will be held over two days on March 5 and 6 and the final Squad D on March 6 and 7. Step 1 finals will be contested on March 7 and Step 2 to 5 finals on March 8.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Doha, Qatar.