Defending champion impresses

1st May, Manama: Defending champion, Remy Ong of Singapore impressed in his opening block of the 12th Sinai International Open Squad A qualifying round after finishing third at Fun Land Bowl on Saturday. Ong, who emerged as champion last year, had an average start in his opening game of the eight-game first block in Squad A with 201 and picked up his pace slightly with 227.

But a lowly 181 gave the Singaporean only 609 series and was 90 pins off the pace set by leader, Ahmed Al Bastaki of Bahrain with Mohammed Al-Shetti following in second.

Ong then quickened his pace with 238 and a sizzling 266 in his fourth and fifth games and looked promising to challenge for the lead but could only manage 206 in his sixth game to slip away from the leading pack.   The defending champion did end the block with back-to-back 238s for a total of 1795 allowing him to move up to third at the end of the block. Mohammed Al-Shetti took pole with 1877, just 5 pins ahead of Ahmed Al Bastaki second.

“I had started off with a scrub ball and the back-end was simply too strong,” said the 31-year-old Remy Ong, who won the Saudi Open but failed to qualify for the Sinai Open last week in Cairo. “I had to completely change my timing and controlled my swing so as to allow the ball to travel down the lane a little longer and straighter and in time for the break. I need to have my bowling ball polish for tomorrow’s second block and hopefully I can improve.”

The bowlers in Squad A will resume with their second block of 8 games tomorrow. The first two finishers will earn a bye directly into the second round finals. Two additional top 2 finishers in Squad B will also earn byes.

The remaining top 2 from Squads C and D will receive byes into the second round finals. Qualifiers from positions 7 to 32 plus the top female qualifier from all the combined squads will battle it out in the Top 38 finals.   The top 12 plus the six seeded qualifiers will contest the Top 18 finals in which the top 5 finishers will advance into the stepladder finals.

Detailed scores: Squad A Block 1 | Qualifying Standings. Photos by Terence Yaw in Manama.