by Rey Bancod
Southeast Asian Games-bound Kenneth Chua and Lara Posadas completed a double victory Wednesday night when they topped the Open Masters stepladder finals of the 2017 Philippine International Open at the Coronado Lanes.
Chua, the 2010 Asian Youth silver medalist, swept top seed Wu Siu Hong of Hong Kong, 247-162 and 267-217, in the best-of-three final to win his first-ever international crown. He pocketed the top purse of P500,000 and a trophy designed by world-renowned Filipino artist and sculptor Joe Datuin.
The 25-year-old Filipino, who rolled the tournament’s first perfect game during the preliminaries, reached the final by ousting 2017 ABF Tour Thailand champion Michael Mak, 247-217.
Chua, representing TBAM-Prima-Philippines, finished second behind Wu, rolling an eight-game series of 1696, 45 pins behind the HK topnotcher.
Only the top three bowlers advance in the stepladder finals.
Jomar Jumapao, who is also a member of the national team preparing for the SEA Games in Kuala Lumpur, finished sixth in the men’s Round 2 finals, missing the final by 47 pins.
Posadas, on the other hand, rolled 1692 to top the women’s Round 2 finals and trounced Iliya Syamin of Singapore, 232-209, and 188-166, in the final.
Earlier, Syamin edged compatriot Jermaine Seah, 223-203, to earn the right to face Posadas.
Posadas picked up P200,000 for the win.
Posadas’ four other national teammates reached the women’s Round 2 finals with Krizziah Tabora and Liza del Rosario winding up fourth and fifth, respectively. Alexis Sy ended up seventh while Mades Arles settled for 11th.
National coach Paeng Nepomuceno was pleased with the Nationals’ performance.
“So far, so good. They have showed a lot of improvement,” said the four-time World Cup champion who is overseeing the team’s preparations.
Next stop for the national bowlers is the Singapore Open set June 4.
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