2019 Philippines 30th SEA Games Bowling Championships
Indonesian, Singaporean eyeing Masters gold
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7th December, Manila: Billy Muhammad Islam of Indonesia and Shayna Ng of Singapore are hoping to end the 2019 Philippines 30th SEA Games Bowling Championships with their second gold medal after topping the Men's and Women's Masters finals first block.

Mixed Doubles gold medallist and All-Events winner, Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia set the opening pace by defeating team-mate and Doubles gold medallist, Hardy Rachmadian 254-196 to lead Team gold medallist, Ahmad Muaz of Malaysia by 18 pins.

Muaz beat compatriot Tun Hakim 236-186 in the opening match while Team bronze medallist, Atchariya Cheng of Thailand had an easy 213-186 win over Patrick Nuqui of Philippines in his first match to take up third.

The 2019 AMF World Cup first runner-up won his next three matches with 206, 186 and 246 to continue to lead the field of 16 finalists. Muaz lost his next two matches to slip down to fourth. Singapore's Muhd Jaris Goh and Doubles gold medallist, Islam exchanged second spot up to the halfway mark.

Masters Block 1 leaders, Shayna Ng and Billy Muhammad Islam

Islam upped his pace with victories in the fifth and sixth matches with 245 and 256 to take over the running. Muaz bounced back with two wins to regain second spot, albeit 56 pins behind the Indonesian leader.

Muaz shared the lead after another win in the seventh match as Islam lost his. Lalisang recovered slightly to take up third while the Singaporean was fourth, 32 pins behind. Islam ended the first block in the lead with another win in the eighth match amassing a total of 1813 and six wins.

Muaz lost his final match to take up second position with 1796 from five wins. Goh also won his final match to snatch third spot with 1752 from seven wins while early pace-setter, Lalisang droped to fourth with 1730, also from seven wins.

Host nation's hope to win the elusive gold medal was kept alive when Team silver medallist, Merwin Tan rounded out the top five with 1701, 51 pins from third-placed Goh.

Men's first block top 3, Ahmad Muaz, Billy M Islam and Muhd Jaris Goh

Meanwhile Team gold medallist, Shayna Ng of Singapore set her eyes on her second gold medal after she convincingly topped the Women's first block with 1868 from five wins. Cherie Tan added Singapore's hope for a third gold medal after finishing second with 1771 from seven wins.

Defending champion and Team silver medallist, Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysia, who led for the first three matches, held on to third spot with 1711 from five wins. Her compatriot, Sin Li Jane, who had a poor start, crawled her way up the field to take up fourth position with 1702 from six wins.

Singles and Team gold medallist, New Hui Fen completed the top five with 1696 from six wins. A fourth Singaporean, Daphne Tan is not far away in sixth position with 1677. Doubles gold medallist and 2017 SEA Games Masters silver medallist, Tannya Roumimper of Indonesia had a dismal first block winning just two matches to finish 15th.

Women's first block top 3, Cherie Tan, Shayna Ng and Shalin Zuklifli

The men and women finalists will resume with their second block over seven matches tomorrow morning with the position-round to determine the top 3 men and top 3 women advancing to the stepladder finals. The second-seed will face the third-seed over one match and the winner will proceed to meet the top seed over a beat-twice title match for the final gold medal of the bowling championships. The loser of the first match will be awarded the bronze medal.

Indonesia leads the overall medal tally with 3 gold, 1 silver and 1 bronze medal. Malaysia and Singapore has two gold each and whichever country that wins the final gold medal can emerge as overall champion.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Manila.

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