PBF 4th Philippine International Open 2023
Filipina, Singaporean crowned champions
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20th May, Manila: Topseed, Marie Alexis Sy of Philippines and second-seed Darren Ong of Singapore were crowned Women's and Men's Open Masters champions of the PBF 4th Philippine International Open 2023 just concluded at Coronado Lanes, Starmall EDSA Shaw on Sunday afternoon.

Sy, the 2022 SEA Games silver medallist, had made the stepladder finals as topseed atfer winning the 8-game Round 2 finals earlier. In the women's title match, both Sy and challenger, Siti Safiyah Amirah of Malaysia had nervy starts rolling 5 pins each but managed to convert their spares.

Both struck in their second frame but the Filipina doubled it in the third frame while the Malaysian could not match Sy's pace and only made her second spare. Sy was on a roll, reeling in strikes after strikes as Amirah just simply could not response.

The champion rolled a total of nine consecutive strikes up to the tenth frame to crusie to a convincing victory, 279-216. She had managed to regain the Women's crown for her country after other Filipinas had won back-to-back titles in 2019 and 2018, 2010 and 2008.

Top 3 winners, Siti Safiyah, Alexis Sy and Jazreel Tan

Sy pocketed the top prize of 300,000 pesos (approx. US$5,300) as champion. Amirah, who won a Team bronze at the 2022 IBF World Cup and the Team silver at the 2021 IBF World Championships in Dubai, ousted second-seed, Jazreel Tan of Singapore 209-191 in the first match to challenge for the crown.

The Malaysian picked up 150,000 pesos and Tan went home with 75,000 pesos. Round 1 third-placed, Charmaine Chang of Singapore missed the stepladder finals finishing fourth with 1630, by just 15 pins off fourth.

Meanhwile second-seed and top qualifier, Darren Ong of Singapore thrashed topseed, Syafiq Ridhwan of Malaysia, 248-175 to bag the Men's Open title. Ong started well with a double strike in his first two frames as Ridhwan struck in his opening frame but encountered a split in the second frame.

Although Ong failed to spare his third frame, but like Alexis Sy in the Women's division, the Singaporean rolled seven consecutive strikes up to the tenth frame. The Malaysian found the lanes tricky and just could not find strikes needed to response.

The champion had earlier edged third-seed and two-hander, Azriq Izamuddin of Malaysia 214-203 to set up the match with Ridhwan. Ong bagged the top prize of 600,000 pesos (approx. US$10,700) as champion.

Ridhwan and Izamuddin settled for 300,000 and 150,000 pesos respectively for finishing first and second runners-up. Malaysia's Muhammad Hafiz Zainuddin missed the cut for the stepladder finals when he finished fourth with 1636, 37 pins adrift fourth.

Top 3 winners, Syafiq Ridhwan, Darren Ong and Azriq Izamuddin

Mr Ed Santos, the President of PBF and Ms Bong Coo, Philippines Sports Commissioner, were on hand to present the trophies and prizes to the winners.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Manila.

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