2018 PBA-WBT Busan Cup International Bowling Tournament
2018 PBA-WBT Busan Cup gets underway
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22nd May, Busan: A total of 220 bowlers took to the lanes at Rainbow Square Bowling Center for their official practice before the start of the final round of the 2018 PBA-WBT Busan Cup International Bowling Tournament tomorrow.

The first of two PBA-World Bowling Tour stop in Asia this year, the 2018 PBA-WBT Busan Cup is organized by the Korean Professional Bowling Association in conjunction with Busan Metroplitan Bowling Association.

The prestigious tournament is endorsed and sanctioned by Korean Bowling Association, Asian Bowling Federation and World Bowling.

The field of 220 qualifiers, which will be divided into four squads of 55 bowlers each, will bowl two blocks of five games each over the next two days, May 23 and 24. The top 11 from each squad will make the cut for the finals. The field comprise of 52 KPBA men and 12 KPBA women seeded qualifiers.

Official practice underway at Rainbow Square

Sixteen of the Korean Bowling Association national team members (8 men and 8 women) are seeded qualifiers. A total of 32 invited overseas bowlers are also seeded qualifiers. The rest are made up of 60 local, 8 overseas and 40 from the mixed pool from the pre-qualifying rounds.

The pre-qualifying rounds for local bowlers, which started since May 13, require a minimum of three 3-games series to make the top 60. The qualifying rounds for overseas bowlers started from May 20. Women bowlers competing in the Open division receive 8 pin handicap per game.

There are also two additional divisions - women and general division. The top 44 women and top 44 qualifiers from the general division will contest six games in separate finals.

The top 2 women and top 2 from the general division after the six games will proceed to their respective title matchplay final to decide the champions.

The top 44 qualifiers from the Open division after the finals, will contest the six-games final round from scratch with the top 4 finishers advancing to the Stepladder Shootout finals.

TV finals will be staged on May 26 on a pair of specially constructed lanes at the Arena Outdoor at the Busan Metropolitan City.

Kim Gidon of KPBA topped the Open division local pool with 2252 followed by multiple Asian Games and World Championships gold medallist and ex-Korean national, Cho Youngseon in second with 2232. Gwak Howan completed the top 3 with 2219.

Open division top local qualifier, Kim Gidon

The cut at 60th position (tied 59th) went to Han Sangbae and Kim Huijun with 2100, averaging 233.3. Chie Horii of Japan topped the overseas pool with 2011. Chae Jeonggin headed the mixed pool with 2099 while Kwon Yongjin and Kang Minhwan tied 40th position with 2063.

KPBA's Park Younghee topped the women's division with 2108 ahead of Yun Huiyeo in second with 2084 and Hong Suyeon in third with 2069. The cut at 44th position was held by Lee Simgyeol with a total of 1926, averaging 214.

Some of the overseas seeded invited players are Anthony Simonsen, Sean Rash, Darren Tang, Kyle Troup, EJ Tackett, Jason Sterner and Danielle McEwan of USA. Joinging them are Christopher Sloan of Ireland, Finns Mika Koivuniemi and Osku Palermaa.

There are three Japanese Professionals, Yasuo Tanaka, Isao Yamamoto and Yuya Kato, two from JBC, Daisuke Yoshida and Tomoyuki Sasaki. 2017 World Championships Trios gold medallist, Michael Mak and Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong are also amongst the seeded qualifiers.

Women divisiopn top qualifier, Park Younghee

Last year's Philippine Open champions, Kenneth Chua and Lara Posadas with reigning QubicaAMF World Cup champion, Krizziah Tabora from Philippines along with 2017 Asian Indoor & Martial Arts Games gold medallist, Annop Arromsaranon and 2014 Incheon Asian Games Singles gold medallist, Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand.

The rest are made up of two from Guam, two from Indonesia, one from Macau, two from VIetnam and two from Chinese Taipei. Live streaming of the finals will also be provided courtesy of Bowlizm.

Photos by Terence Yaw in Busan, Korea.

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