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PH boys bag Asian youth bowling overall crown

MANILA, Philippines, July 13 ------ The Philippine boys’ bowling team clinched the overall crown for the first time ever after bagging two golds in four divisions of the 21st Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships at the Blu-O Rhythm & Bowl in Bangkok, Thailand.

Artegal Barrientos topped the boys’ masters, right after teaming up with the Philippine crew of Zach Ramin, Stephen Luke Diwa, and Marc Dylan Custodio, for the boys’ division title.

Barrientos sealed the deal for the Filipinos after conquering Australia’s Blake Walsh in the boys’ masters final, 443-349. The third-ranked Barrientos, an incoming sophomore at Far Eastern University, defeated No. 2 Lee Myeongcheol of Korea, 205-191, in the stepladder semifinals.

“I am speechless. I was only just focused on my shot. I was not thinking of the score,” Barrientos told Rappler. “And when my opponent got a split on the 10th frame, that was the only time I realized I won,” he added, also thanking his parents and teammates. Barrientos is the first Filipino male bowler since Biboy Rivera to accomplish the feat since the eighth edition in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1996.

Earlier, the Philippines staged a comeback bid to rule the boys’ team of four event, overcoming a 209-pin deficit en route to their first gold in the category since 1981, when they were led by Oly Reformado, George Fernandez, and Steward Uy.

The quartet of Ramin, Barrientos, Diwa, and Custodio defeated Korea in the championship round, 4933-4922, last Monday, July 10. Thailand rounded out the top three at 4918.

The Philippine keglers bowled 943 pins, a 235 average, to take home the gold, overtaking Thailand, Korea, Singapore, and Hong Kong, which were ranked first to fourth, respectively, before the final game. A total of 17 countries joined this year’s edition, including bowling powerhouse teams Korea, Singapore, and Malaysia.

“The team committed to being great teammates with emotional control at the core. This helped us do the lane play work, trust the process, and hit lines,” said American coaching consultant Joe Slowinski. “I am incredibly proud of the work we have done here to bring a gold boys team medal back to the country after more than 40 years – we prepared for all lane play possibilities – which helped us perform at key moments,” he continued. “We never gave up and fought every frame, game, block.”

It is Ramin’s second consecutive title, etching his name in the Singapore International Open‘s records as its youngest winner ever last June. “I am very happy with what we have accomplished so I am not yet thinking about the next tournament, or the schoolwork that I need to get back to when I go back to school,” said Ramin, who is based in Singapore. “I will continue working hard and making sure I improve all parts of my game and get me ready for the next time I can fight for our country.”



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