20th Asian School Tenpin Bowling Championships
Japan rules Masters first block
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11th July, Hong Kong: Triple gold medallist, Hideaki Hata and Naoto Kanno finished one-two in the Boy's Masters finals while Erina Ishimoto topped the Girl's Masters finals of the 20th Asian School Tenpin Bowling Championships on Thursday.

Team gold and All Events silver medallist, Naoto Kanno defeated team-mate, Hata 279-257 in the opening match of the Round-robin finals to earn an extra ten pins bonus and led Hata by 32 pins. Singapore B's Lim Ding Xi and Hong Kong A's Alex Yu also registered victories with big games of 248 and 246 respectively.

Kanno was on a hot streak winning his next five matches with 268, 247, 247, 224 and 248 but could not shake off Hata, who was right on his heals winning four matches on bigger games except in the fourth match of 279, 255, 203, 289 and 245.

Although Kanno won his seventh match with 211, Hata also won his seventh match but with a stronger game of 236 to take over the lead. Lim also won his next six matches but continued to trail the leading duo.

Masters Block 1 leaders, Erina Ishimoto and Hideaki Hata

Hata ended the first block without a win on 206 but topped the field with 2030 from a total of five wins. Kanno also failed to win his eighth match with 203 and had to settle for second spot with 1997 from a total of seven wins.

Yu stormed home with two big matches of 259 and 237 to snatch third spot with 1974 from five wins. Lim, despite winning all eight matches slipped down to fourth with 1969. Isaac Lai of Singapore A completed the top five with 1932.

In the girl's division, Team gold medallist, Ishimoto of Japan set a cracking pace to win her first three matches and led Singles gold medallist, Arianne Tay, who won two of her first three matches. Doubles and All Events gold medallist, Fion Liew kept pace with the leading duo but with just one win for third spot.

Tay won her next three matches to lead from match four to six as the Japanese only won once. Liew also failed to captilise but managed to win two of her next three. Another Japanese, Akiho Mizutani followed closely behind in fourth.

Boy's Masters Top 3, Naoto Kanno, Hideaki Hata and Alex Yu

Ishimoto then bounched back brilliantly by winning her seventh and eighth matches with 221 and 268 to end the block in the lead with 1905 from a total of six wins. Tay slipped back to second with 1812 from six wins.

Liew clinched third spot with 1800 from just three wins. Mizutani remained in fourth position with 1769 from just three wins while Mandy Koh of Singapore B rounded out the top five with 1767 from five wins.

The finalists will resume tomorrow with their second block of seven matches with pins carried forward including a position-round match to determine the top 3 boys and top 3 girls with the highest pinfalls to proceed to the Stepladder shootout finals.

The semi-final match will pit the second-seed and the third-seed over one match. The winner will advance to the final to face the top-seed for a two-games total pinfalls finale to decide champion.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Hong Kong.

Top 3 in the girl's division, Arianne Tay, Erina Ishimoto and Fion Liew

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