Philippine bowling holds out hope once again to be one of the country’s top sports after it bagged two bronze medals in the recent World Championships in Dubai.
Legendary bowling queen Bong Coo said in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday, November 23 that the team is targeting at least one gold medal in the upcoming Vietnam Southeast Asian (SEA) Games.
“Ngayon ang target namin is the Southeast Asian Games. In the past SEA Games, hindi kami nakaka-gold. Noong panahon namin, walang problema. Kapag naka-bronze, umiiyak kami. Ngayon pag bronze, umiiyak din, pero sa tuwa,” said Co, a world bowling Hall of Famer and winner of four world championships.
“Pero ngayon ang target namin is to really deliver the gold for the country kasi alam kong kayang-kaya namin.”
(Our current target is the Southeast Asian Games. In the past SEA Games, we weren’t able to win gold. During our time, it was not a problem. We even cry over settling for a bronze medal. But if we win a bronze now, we cry tears of joy instead. But our target now is to really deliver the gold for the country because I know we are capable.)
The men’s and women’s bowling teams each bagged a bronze in the world championships that ended the country’s medal drought in the elite event.
Biboy Rivera, who coached the men’s team composed of Kenneth Chua, Patrick Nuqui, Merwin Tan, and Ian Dychangco, last brought home the gold in the same meet 15 years ago.
Former bowling star Jojo Canare, on the other hand, mentored the women’s team of Racelle Leon, Mades Arles, Norel Nuevo, and Dubai-based Uella Marcial.
The national team will resume training in December as tryouts will be held to fill in the team that will compete in the SEA Games set on May 12 to 23, 2022 in Hanoi, Vietnam.
The Philippine Sports Commission (PSC), though, mandated a criteria that medalists in the last edition of the biennial meet held in Manila be included as part of the Philippine delegation.
The bowling team won a silver in the men’s team event and bronze in the women’s team event in the 30th edition of the SEA Games.
But Lisa Del Rosario and Frederick Ong have announced their retirement. This means Kenneth Chua, Patrick Nuqui, Tan, Alexis Sy, Lara Posadas-Wong, and Bea Hernandez will be leading the new crop of national keglers.
“Lara has started training already after she got married and had kids,” said Coo in a mix of English and Filipino. “We hope we can have a very good team.”
Bowling power Singapore and Malaysia loom as the biggest threat in the SEA Games, added Coo, as the two countries also beat the Filipinos in the semifinals of the Dubai world meet and denied them a shot for the gold.
The team will continue its regular practices at Star Mall, but the bowling federation is set for a meeting with the PSC on the possibility of putting up the team’s training camp in Bataan as it prepares for the SEA Games. – Rappler.com