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ABF Tour - Canon Malaysia 2006
Tour debutant gets lucky break

2nd April, Kuala Lumpur: Tour debutant and local favourite, Isaac Russell Paul got a lucky break in the ABF Tour - Canon Malaysia leg to clinch his first-ever international title while the Vanessa Fung of Hong Kong prevented Malaysia a double by taking the women's crown.

ABF Tour - Malaysia logo

The 18-year-old started well in the men's final match against Jason Belmonte of Australia but soon found the going tough after opening the fourth frame with a split. Belmonte was leading the youngster at the halfway mark when he chalked up a double in the second and third frames by 19 pins.

While Isaac continue to struggle with another open frame in the seventh, the Aussie also got into trouble with two open frames to take the match down to wire. With the final two frames to play, the champion seized the opportunity to ensure he got the maximum pin count out of his final two frames to end the match 171.

Belmonte needed to strike to take the match and had a strike in the tenth but on his 11th frame, a stubborn pin 4 denied victory for the Australian. Isaac

Isaac Russell
Malaysia Leg champion, Isaac Russell with his winning trophy

had earlier ousted his compatriot, Daniel Lim over a 9th and 10th frame roll-off to break the 246 deadlock in the first semifinals.

The men's final was almost an all-Malaysian affair but Mohd Noer Said failed to progress after he lost to Belmonte in the other semifinals, 200-218. Daniel Lim posted the highest game of the day with a score of 269 when he knocked out Korea's Choi Won-Young, 269-224 in Round 2.

In the women's division, lady luck was shinning on Vanessa Fung of Hong Kong as pipped another local tour debutant and challenger, Syakirah Yeoh by a single pin with 162-161. Syakirah needed to strike out to take the title but was unlucky to leave a single pin standing in 11th frame which denied her the win.

Vanessa, who won the 2005 Kuwait International Open title, had earlier knocked out 2005 Malaysian Open champion, Siti Safiyah Amirah of Malaysia, 196-177 in the first semifinals to book her spot in the finals.

2005 ABF Tour Singapore leg champion, Chu Yu-Chieh of Chinese Taipei lost the other women's semifinal match, 181-219 to Syakirah in the second semi. The champion also posted the women's highest game of the tour with 237 to knock Malaysian Open runner-up, Chou Poh Lai of Malaysia in the

Vanessa Fung
All smiles for women's champion, Vanessa Fung

first round. The tour's next stop is will be in Bangkok, Thailand on 29th April, 2006 following the 32nd Thailand International Open.

The ABF Tour 2006 comprises 8 Legs and a Grand Final. Top 16 men and 16 women bowlers from the preceding International Open Masters Event (Open Grade) will be qualified and competed in a one-game match play knock-out competition for the individual men's and women's titles.

Highlights of the ABF Tour - Canon Malaysia was telecast LIVE on Astro Supersport and broadcast later on local television stations of the eight countries where the tour is being held. It is also broadcast later from parts of Europe, Africa, the Middle East, central Asia, China and Australasia with an estimated audience of around 90 million.

For further information and details please contact ABF Tour Committee Marketing and Event Management Division at Tel: (852) 2810 5191; Fax: (852) 28105192; Mr. Ritchie Lai (Mobile: (852) 93598669; email: ritchie.lai@tndgroup.com or Mr. Kelvin Pong (Mobile: (852) 9100 0958; email: Kelvin.pong@tndgroup.com. Visit www.abftour.com for LIVE scores.

Photos by Y.S. Liew, MTBC.

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