2017 Philippine International Open
Philippines, Singapore shares glory
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Philippines, Singapore shares glory26th May, Manila: Asian School Team gold medallist, Ivan Malig of TBAM-Prima, snatched the Youth Boys Masters title of the 2017 Philippine International Open in his final game while Singapore dominated the Youth Girls division by occupying the top six positions.

Ahmad Safwan of Singapore got off the eight-game finals to a cracking pace with 214 and 224 to lead compatriots, Soh Yong Ping and Keith Tan sharing second spots. Ahmad continued his relentless pace reeling in another 224, followed by 206 and 258 to open up a gap of 35 pins.

Tan kept pace with the lead trailing Ahmad for the next four games as Soh slipped out of contention. The leader then stumbled to 146 in the sixth game but Tan was unable to take advantage as he too stumbled to a low game of 149.

Youth Boys champion, Ivan Malig beaming with his trophy and prize

Soh recovered slightly to take up third as Malig gradually moved up into the top five after a slow start. The two Singaporeans failed to keep their fast pace stumbling yet again to low games in the seventh. Tan took over the lead, three pins ahead of AHmad while Malig trailed in third, 62 pins adrift going into the final game.

Tan and Ahmad failed to recover and managed only 163 and 165 while Malig struck out from frame 8 to end with a big game of 257, snatching the title with 1613. Tan settled for second spot with 1581, 32 pins adrift while Ahmad finished third with 1580.

"I missed the Open Masters finals due to an exam which took place the same day, but this win more than made up for the disappointment," said the 19-year-old Malig, who has never won any international youth title.

"The two Singaporeans were bowling next to me and when I saw both had opened frames, I knew that if I somehow can string together a few strikes, I might snatch a win. My lucky break came in the eighth frame when I saw both the pins 4 and 10 fell in the last minute. I then managed to strike out for the high game."

Malig won 50,000 pesos (approx. US$1,000) and the champion's trophy, presented by Mr Alex Lim, Secretary General and ABF Exco Member. Tan and Ahmad took home 25,000 and 13,000 pesos respectively as first and second runners-up.

First and second runners-up, Keith Tan and Ahmad Safwan

Meanwhile, Singapore girls took the top six positions out of twelve finalists in the Youth Girls finals. Second runner-up in the Ladies' Open division, Jermaine Seah set the early pace but shared the lead with Iliya Syamin after the second game.

Syamin took over the lead after the third game and kept the lead for the next three games before Seah snatched the lead with a stunning 268 in the seventh game. The leader then ended the finals with another splendid 255 to seal victory with 1680.

Syamin, who also finished first runner-up in the Ladies' Open division, again had to settle for the first runner-up spot again with 1606, 74 pins away. 2016 World Youth Masters silver medallist, Amabel Chua stormed home to clinch third position with 1559.

Charlene Lim, Fiona Yew and Jenae Wee finished fourth to sixth positions with 1502, 1462 and 1409 respectively for Singapore.

Youth Girls top 3 winners, Iliya, Seah and Chua

Bea Hernandez of PBA-Nobleland was the best Filipina in seventh position with 1402. The top three winners picked up 35,000, 20,000 and 10,000 pesos and trophies. Qualifying for the Youth Under-18 and Senior divisions will end today with their Masters finals to be contested tomorrow. The Associate and Graded divisions have another day of qualifying tomorrow before their finals on May 28.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Manila.

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