SEA Games: Marvin Tan’s golden start returns to PH bowling glory, says

File - Filipino bowler Marvin Tan.  Picture of the Philippine Bowling Federation

File – Filipino bowler Marvin Tan. Picture of the Philippine Bowling Federation

HANOY – Merwin Tan’s gold medal may have surprised many people who are accustomed to the same disappointing performance of national bowlers in the Southeast Asian Games.

But his victory in the men’s singles at the 31st Southeast Asian Games on Monday certainly did not surprise his coaches, especially the national head coach, former world Masters champion Bibay Rivera.

“We are fortunate to be invited to the World Series of Bowling,” Rivera told Inquirer. The tournament was part of the United States Pro Tour in Wisconsin last March. “It exposed Marvin on the big stage.”

The 22-year-old Tan collected 1,292 pinfalls to win a single gold, breaking the 11-year drought for a country that dominated the region.

“We can say that this is the beginning of our journey back (to glory),” Rivera said. “We have a young team here, especially the men. We wanted to focus on the young so that a gap could be avoided (between elite and developing players). “

In the women’s singles category, Alexis CO won the silver medal.

For a country that has built a Hall of Fame like Peng Napomuseno and Bong Ku, the Philippines has struggled for decades. The last time Patrick Wong won gold was at the 2011 Games.

However, with the exception of Tan’s U.S. activities, the rest of the team in the Philippines have just trained back home to deal with the limitations of health protocols.

Filipino bowlers are training at the Star Mall along Edsa, which is open to the public. “We just chose the time slot where fewer people are playing,” Rivera said.

The men’s team that will see action in the doubles and trio on Tuesday is Evan Dominic Malig, 25, Patrick Nuki, 19, and Ian Dichanko, 31.

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