Islam, who had qualified in fifth with 1406, improved his lower 3-game series of 657 with 773 to take over the lead with 1522, making him the only qualifier to surpass the 1500-mark. 2017 Philippine Open champion, Kenneth Chua of Philippines also improved to take over second spot with 1462.
Filipino youngster and 2018 World Youth Championships bound, Merwin Tan surprised the field with a splendid effort of 1455 to secure third spot and crucially earned a bye for Stage 2 finals as one of the top 3 overseas qualifiers.
Newly-crowned 2018 PBA-World Bowling Tour Busan Cup champion, Annop Arromsaranon of Thailand had struggled to register good scores but finally found his line to occupy fourth position with 1439. He will now be eyeing for a top 3 spot with further attempts before qualifying ends late tonight.
Early pace-setter, Lee Tak Man of Macau slipped out of the top bracket to round out the top 5 with 1433. In the local pool, 2018 Macao-China Open fourth runner-up, James Lui remained in the lead with 1451.