20th May, Manila: 2017 SEA Games Team gold medallist, Basil Ng of Singapore, snatched the lead of the Men's Open Round 1 Masters finals of the PBF 4th Philippine International Open 2023 in the final game with Malaysia's Shahrukh Amin in second and Philippines' Lex Andrew Lara in third.
JP Macatula of the Philippines got off to a cracking start with a sizzling 278 in his opening game to lead 2022 SEA Games Team silver medallist, Muhd Hafiz Zainuddin of Malaysia by 20, who impressed with 258.
The Filipino continued to lead the next two games with 223 and 190 but saw his slender lead reduced to just 13 pins as Zainuddin kept pace to stay close to the leader. The 23-year-old Zainuddin upped his pace with 256 in the fourth game to take over the running and drew clear of Macatula by 40 pins.
The Malaysian looked set to end the round in the lead when he reeled in 200 and 211 thereafter but suffered a set back in his last two games with 177 and 176 to finished fourth with 1698. His team-mate, Shahkruh Amin, who made the finals from last night's desperado squad, had a keen tussle for the lead but also eventually settled for second with 1707.
2018 H.H. Emir Cup champion and 2017 SEA Games Team gold medallist, Basil Ng of Singapore had been close to the leading pack and finally prevailed by storming home to snatch top spot with 1857, some 150 pins ahead.
Philippines' Lara also ended strongly to clinch third position with 1703. A second Singaporean, Danial Zheng Yi completed the top 5 with 1669. The cut in 12th position to advance to the next round was Malaysia's Nervern Netaneel with 1593.
Defending champion and 2022 SEA Games Team gold medallist, Merwin Tan almost missed the cut but finished strong in his last two games to make the cut in ninth position. 2018 World Men's Doubles gold medallist, Tun Hakim of Malaysia, who was in seventh position, ended with a disasterous 140 to drop out in 14th.
The top 12 finishers in this round will be joined by the 12 seeded qualifiers (6 local, 6 overseas) for another 8 games in Round 2 tomorrow morning. The women will contest their Round 1 finals after lane maintenance.
Photos by Terence Yaw in Manila.