8th March, Doha: 2018 World Championships Trios gold medallist and second-seed, Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong captured the PBA-WBT H.H. Emir Cup 2019 with victory over topseed, Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia in the championship match.
Challenger and winner of Step 4 finals, Wu took a 31-pin lead over Lalisang, 204-173 in the first match. In the second match, both started off with two consecutive strikes, a spare in the second frame and another strike each in the fourth frame.
Wu failed to spare his fifth frame giving the Indonesian a slight lead but the Hong Kong national recovered with five consecutive strikes to put the tie beyond his opponent. Although Lalisang responded by striking home from frame eighth to win the second match, 236-234, Wu clinched the title with a two-game total of 438-409.
"I didn't have a good start during the first block of the qualifying rounds but managed to find a good line to bowl in the second block to qualify in the top bracket," said Wu after his victory.
"I had a modest start in the Step 2 finals but when I had a few big games, I knew I had a chance to make the knockout finals. In the match against Keith Saw in Step 4, I was confident I could beat him when I saw he was struggling to repeat the form he showed in Step 3 finals.
"Again in the championship match against Lalisang, I knew it would be a tough match as the Indonesian is a very good bowler but when he too struggled in the first match, I knew I could win. It's defiitely a good start to the year and I'm looking forward to do well for the rest of the year."
The champion, who pocketed the top prize of US$20,000, had earlier brushed aside, Saw, 438-360 in Step 4 finals to face topseed, Lalisang. Saw defeated fourth-seed and compatriot, Muhd Jaris Goh, fifth-seed, Michael Mak of Hong Kong and Ghanim Aboujassoum of Qatar, 467-428-382-410 to advance to Step 4 finals.
Lalisang picked up US$12,000 as first runner-up while Saw took home US$6,500 as second runner-up. Jaris Goh, Mak and Aboujassoum earned US$3,500 each for finishing fourth to sixth positions.
Fifty-four bowlers from 14 countries took part in the PBA-WBT H.H. Emir Cup 2019 qualifying through four squads of 12 games. 24 qualifiers contested Step 1 finals with the top 12 advancing to Step 2 finals joined by the top 8 seeded qualifiers from the general standings. The field was cut to six to advance to the knockout stage from 20 finalists in Step 2 finals.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Doha, Qatar.
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