Cebu-based national bowler Alexis Sy made her trip back to Manila worthwhile yesterday, outclassing top Malaysian bowler Siti Safiyah, 279-216, to bag the women’s open crown of the Philippine International Open Tenpin Bowling Championships.
Behind the rooting of a small but lively hometown crowd at the Coronado Lanes inside the Starmall in Mandaluyong, Sy sizzled with eight strikes in a row from second to the 10th frames to handily secure her first open championship in the tourney supported by the Philippine Sports Commission.
A silver medalist in last year’s Vietnam Southeast Asian Games, Sy drew the top seed and a bye with her steady play in second eight-game series of the tournament also backed by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
The bespectacled bowler opened with a 233 on the way to a tally of 1665 in the kegfest also backed by Timberpro, Robinson’s Land, Cuisiners, Starbalm and The Bowler.
A BPI assistant manager for Visayan corporate banking accounts, Sy cooled her heels while awaiting the outcome of the one-game playoff between No. 2 seed Jazreel Tan of Singapore No. 3 seed Safiyah, who easily prevailed 209-191 to earn her crack at the Filipina bowler.
Aided by former national women’s coach Jojo Canare, who was with her in the Vietnam SEA Games, Sy was in the zone and deftly changed her bowls on lanes No. 17 and 18 in coping with the lane conditions to come up with her big game after opening with a spare in the first frame.
“I’m very happy that we were able to stick with our game plan with coach Jojo like switching balls between lanes after getting low scores in the qualifying round. So I am very happy with this result,” said Sy, beaming.
“I am quite familiar with the game of Alexis so when I saw her throw in the qualifying we knew what to do, especially with changing the balls in the two lanes she played,” Canare noted.
“What Alexis and Jojo did was a bold move but it paid off. Sy was absolutely superb with her adjustments,” said newly-hired American national bowling coach Joe Slowinski. “My hats off to both of them.”
Singapore’s Darren Ong downed Malaysia’s Syafiq Ridhwan 248-175 in capturing the men’s open championship.
Top local bowler Merwin Tan had an uneven performance and wound up in fifth place in the second eight-game series of the finals with a score of 1627, 104 pins behind Malaysian topnotcher Syafig Ridwhan (1731).
“We would like to thank to thank everyone for making the Philippine Internatonal Open quite successful and hopefully we will have a bigger and better tournament next year,” said Philippine Bowling Federation president Ted Santos.
In overnight results, Thailand’s Putana Buspanikonkkul ruled the mens graded masters events with top score of 1586 while Mariel dela Cruz topped the ladies graded after scoring 1539.