The men’s and women’s bowling teams hope to end a long, gold-medal drought for the Philippines in the 30th Southeast Asian Games later this year.
Philippine team candidates Lara Posadas-Wong and Merwin Tan said the Philippine Bowling Federation is doing everything to form the best squad possible to give the country its first bowling gold since the 2005 edition of the biennial meet.
The Filipinos emerged overall champion in the sport when it last hosted the SEA Games 14 years ago after winning four gold and six silver medals.
“We’ll do our best to win gold medals for the Philippines this coming SEA Games. We cannot assure anything right now, but we’re really practicing very hard. So hopefully, maipakita namin ito sa SEA Games,” said Posadas-Wong.
“The target is of course, manalo ng medal,” added Tan.
The two bowlers appeared Tuesday in the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum at the Amelie Hotel-Manila, fresh from their victorious stint in the 45th Hong Kong International Open over the weekend.
The 29-year-old Posadas-Wong emerged champion in the Hong Kong leg of the Asian Bowling Federation Tour and finished second runner-up in the ladies’ division of the Hong Kong Open.
For his part, the 20-year-old Tan bagged the championship of the Youth Masters Division and placed second runner-up in both the Men’s Open division and the Youth Boys doubles along with Patrick Nuqui.
Tan is also the reigning Asian Youth champion after winning the event last April in Malaysia.
The Hong Kong Open, the Philippine Open, and the Singapore Open are among the tournaments the PBF will be using as basis to select the composition of the men and women’s team to the SEA Games, according to the two bowlers.
Posadas-Wong, who won bronze medals in the last two stagings of the biennial meet in Singapore (2015) and Malaysia (2017), respectively, said in the same session presented by San Miguel Corp., Braska Restaurant, Amelie Hotel, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation that the country is likely to contend for the golds in the team events.
“Though challenging, sa team (events) kaya kahit anong kulay. May chance kahit anong kulay,” she said. “Individually, we’re getting there (pero) madami pang kailangan trabahuhin. But we’ll get there.”
Both bowlers consider long-time rivals Malaysia and Singapore as the biggest threats in the Filipinos’ gold medal bids.
Posadas-Wong will still compete as part of the team bound for Las Vegas for the World Women’s Championship next month, and later in the Asian Bowling Championships in Kuwait.
Tan will also be with the men’s team in the Asian meet in Kuwait and is set to see action in an U-22 meet in Japan this August.
The PBF hopes to name the final lineup for the biennial meet by September.
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