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Bowling champion shot dead in San Juan

A former world youth bowling champion was shot dead Friday by a lone gunman wearing a face mask in San Juan City.

Senior Supt. Dindo Reyes, San Juan police chief, identified the victim as Angel Nathaniel Constantino, best known for winning two gold medals in the 1992 World Youth bowling championships in Caracas, Venezuela.

Constantino was having snack at around 5 p.m. at the Bill and Bo Bistro just beside the E-Lanes Bowling Center he was managing when the suspect, wearing a blue tee shirt, denim short pants, dark cap and a medical mask, entered the restaurant, according to the police.

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The suspect asked for the menu, stood up, casually approached the 48-year-old Constantino, took out the gun from his sling bag and pumped two bullets on his head. He was about to leave, but went back to put one more bullet on the head.

The victim, a resident of Makati, died on the spot.

Before leaving, the suspect pointed the gun toward horrified service crew who sought cover.

Police recovered four cartridge cases from a caliber .45 pistol from the crime scene.

The restaurant and the 24-lane bowling center were located on the second floor of E-Square Building along Ortigas Avenue.

Police said the suspect used the basement parking entrance to get into the second floor and used it to make his escape.

Initial report said the suspect fled aboard a yellow scooter driven by his alleged cohort wearing a black helmet.

Yesterday, police now believe the suspect simply fled the building on foot.

Police said there was a security guard in the ground floor entrance, but the basement parking was unattended..

“Sa tingin ko, gun-for-hire ito at kabisado niya itong area,” said case investigator SPO3 Marcelo Marinas.

Yesterday, investigators walked through the crime scene. Both the restaurant and the bowling center were closed.

However, a Mass was held inside the restaurant, but police said those who attended were unaware of what transpired the day before.

There was no usual yellow tape to cordon off a crime scene.

A many-time member of the national team, Constantino won the singles and teamed up with Norberto Constantino to capture the doubles in the 1992 World Youth. He also took the silver in the all-events and bronze in the Masters.

Constantino was also member of the men’s team that won the silver in the Asian Games in 1994 in Hiroshima, Japan.

After quitting the sport, Constantino concentrated on coaching and handled a bowling team based at E-Lanes.

His death shocked the bowling community which remembered him as a mild-mannered, soft-spoken individual.

Former world champion Biboy Rivera said he couldn’t think of any reason why someone wanted Constantino dead.

“Mabait siya. Wala siyang kaaway,” said Rivera who last saw the victim last December 26, 2018 during an affair they both attended.

The observation was echoed by Steve Hontiveros, former long-time president of the bowling association.

“Kilala ko ang pamilya niya. His father is a friend,” said Hontiveros who last held the post in 2017. (Aldrin Casinas)

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