MANILA, Philippines — National bowlers on Thursday vowed to come up with strong performance when they see action in the 30th Southeast Asian Games.
Philippine Bowling Federation (PBF) secretary general Bong Coo said they are looking at winning at least two gold medals in the prestigious biennial tourney set from 3 to 8 December at the Coronado Lanes inside Starmall in Mandaluyong City.
A legendary bowler who is known for winning six gold medals in the country’s first hosting of the Games in 1981, Coo said she is pinning her hopes on veterans Liza del Rosario and Frederick Ong as well as rising star Merwin Tan.
Del Rosario has been campaigning internationally for more than two decades while Ong is the last player to win a gold medal in the SEA Games after ruling the men’s singles event of the 26th SEA Games in Indonesia in 2011.
The 19-year-old Tan, for his part, is the Asian youth champion and is tipped to give the keglers from powerhouse countries like Singapore and Malaysia a run for their money.
Rounding out the team are Patrick Nuqui, Kenneth Chua, Lara Posadas-Wong, Alexis Sy and Bea Hernandez.
“We’re not promising anything, but we will surely give other teams a very good fight,” said Coo, whose wards had an intensive international buildup courtesy of the Philippine Sports Commission and the PBF headed by chairman Sen. Tito Sotto and president Steve Robles.
“What we have is a solid and fighting team that is capable of winning at least two gold medals.”
Coo said playing on their home floor would not be a factor in the tournament.
“Bowling is an immeasurable sport. A lot of factors would be in play once the tournament started,” said Coo, who is regarded as the greatest Filipino bowler of all time together with Paeng Nepomuceno.
“Playing at home could even be a disadvantage as players tend to get conscious and nervous. But our team is ready. They have trained hard and long enough to brush off distractions and focus on winning the gold.” (LO/IAMIGO/CNS)