|Frederick Ong and Jeremy Posadas|
Philippine bowling started its 26th Southeast Asian Games campaign at the Jaya Ancol Bowling Alley with a dominant 1-2 finish in the single men’s 6-Oil event.
Frederick Ong, one of the four players who represented the national team in the Asian Bowling Championship in Hong Kong, took the gold with teammate Jeremy Posadas settling for the silver in their opening event.
The bowling squad delivered medals early despite missing the services of veteran Chester King. A teammate of Ong’s in the Asian Championship, King skipped the SEA Games after getting married.
But his absence was hardly felt as Ong, Posadas and world champion Biboy Rivera carried the fight for the Filipinos.
Ong finished with a total of 1386 pin falls en route to winning the gold medal. He had a solid performance from the third game onwards, taking the lead with a 252 in the game. Ong capped off the event with six strikes in the final game.
“It was during the third game that I felt I have a chance to win the gold. I was able to jump to number one after that,” said Ong. “But this is a very tough tournament. Our game plan was just to have fun, but all of a sudden, we found ourselves having a great chance of winning and now I’m a gold medalist.”
Posadas, a first-time competitor in the SEA Games, clinched his first medal with a strong finish. He started his campaign at No. 7, with solid stints in the first two games. But he came up big in his last game with a 254 to finish with a total of 1365.
“First time is the sweetest and a silver medal behind the gold of a teammate isn’t bad at all. This is truly special,” said Posadas, whose sisters Apple and Lara are also competing in the women’s event.
Rivera finished sixth behind a solid showing in the fifth game with a 266. He had eight strikes in the sixth and final game.
“Sana marami pang manalo ng medals. This 1-2 finish is big for our campaign. I’m sure the women’s team will also have a good shot at the gold,” said Rivera.