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Gella gets first gold for RP bowlers in HK Open

29 June 2018

A lone Filipina gave the Philippines its first gold trophy in the Hong Kong International Open Tenpin Bowling Championships on Thursday, Jun 28, when she single-handedly beat the male-dominated field in the Under-18 Masters Finals event.
Grace Gella 

Grace Gella downed 1227 pins to tie second-placer Ambrose Hon of Hong Kong, but the handicap of 8 pins per game given to girl bowlers in the category catapulted the petite 16-year-old to the top. Both averaged 205.

Another Hong Kong youth, Jacky Lo, averaged 203 and finished third with a 1218 to round off the top three in the category.

Gella was the only Filipino among the 15 players who moved into the Under-18 Masters finals. Ten of the finalists were Hong Kong boys, two were Malaysians, and Australia and Kuwait had one each.

The Filipina started slow, scattering only 184 pins in Game 1 while Australian Nixon Chan rolled a perfect game of 300 to win early adulation of both the competitors and the spectators. Trailing him was Hon, who scored 225.

But Chan’s stellar start fizzled out with only 160 and Hon slowed to 213 in the second game, while Gella was steady at 184. Lo, meanwhile, surged forward with a 236 in Game 2 following a 167 in the first game.

In the succeeding games, Gella racked up a 190-221-237-211 series while Hon logged steadily slowing games of 211-206-194-178 and Lo strung 168-247-245-155.

Chan felled only 144 pins in the third game and scored 200-185-214 but was already out of contention for the bronze with 1203 pins.

In men’s competition, Filipino bowler Kenneth Chua, qualified on Jun 27 for Friday’s Open Masters with a score of 1423 to place third in the overseas pool of Stage 1.

Chua, last year’s Philippine Open champion, joined leader Lee Tak Man of Macau, who dropped 1433 pins, and Ryan Lalisang of Indonesia, who rolled 1429.

They will bowl against top three Hong Kong qualifiers James Lui, who scored 1451; Ivan Tse, 1433; and Wicky Yeung, 1409.

The top three placers in the overseas and local pools will take a bye and automatically advance to the Stage 2 finals.  

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