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Bright future beckons junior keglers

‘Until now, bowling is still evolving.’

PHILIPPINE Sports Commission chairperson Richard ‘Dickie’ Bachmann (second to the right) and commissioners Edward Hayco (right), Matthew ‘Fritz’ Gaston (left) and Walter Torres (second to the left) laud Art Barrientos, Stephen Luke Diwa, Marc Dylan Custodio for winning in the 21st Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships. | PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF PSC

The future of Philippine bowling looks promising following the rousing success of the boys’ team in the recent 21st Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships in Bangkok, Thailand.

The quartet of Art Barrientos, Stephen Luke Diwa, Marc Dylan Custodio and Singapore-based Zach Sales Ramin clinched the gold in four events following a come-from-behind win over South Korea, 4933-4922, and then added another one when Barrientos bagged the masters’ gold by beating Blake Walsh of Australia, 443-349.

The team went on and finished overall champion in the boys’ side.

Barrientos, 19, and a hospitality management student at FEU Roosevelt, became the first Filipino to accomplish the feat since Biboy Rivera in the 1986 edition of the meet in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The accomplishment of the four teams meanwhile, is the first for the country in the continental youth meet since 1981.

“Until now, bowling is still evolving,” Barrientos said during the Philippine Sportswriters Association Forum on Tuesday at the conference hall of the Rizal Memorial Sports Complex.

“I believe the right training and proper support will be good enough, we could bring back the glory days of bowling in our country.”

Diwa and Custodio were with Barrientos during the weekly session and expressed the same sentiment of competing and winning for the country in international tournaments.

“I want to continue representing our country very well, hope to win more medals, and continue working on my game,” said Custodio, 19, who is taking up accountancy at De La Salle University.

Added the 18-year-old Diwa, “We’ll continue to practice hard. Next international tournament, hopefully we can go and win some more medals.”

The victorious Filipinos brought with them medals and trophies they won during the session presented by San Miguel Corporation, Philippine Sports Commission, Milo, Philippine Olympic Committee, and the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation.

Unfortunately, all three won’t be back to defend their titles come the next edition of the tournament in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

“The next Asian Youth will be in 2025,” Barrientos said.

“But Marc and I will no longer be in the youth division by that time. Even Stephen can no longer join because Asian Youth is only for those who are 20 years old.”

For now, all three are looking to join the men’s team through its annual tryouts usually conducted every December.

“Every year there’s a national team tryout. And that’s our goal (right now),” said Diwa, who is taking up business management at College of Saint Benilde.

Barrientos added the success of the team in the Asian Youth motivated them even better in trying to reach the same level as what Filipino bowling greats such as Paeng Nepomuceno, Lita Dela Rosa, and now sports commissioner Bong Coo achieved in the sport.

“Hopefully, we’ll all make it to the Hall of Fame of bowling,” he said.


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