Sunday, January 29, 2017 – CENTRAL LANES BOWLING CENTER, Tamuning, Guam
Jim Pinaula went into the tenth frame with the title on the line and drew two strikes and a high count to upset top seed Norison Catbagan 232-222 with handicap for the January Senior Bowler Of The Month. Catbagan had led through all 6 games of the qualifying rounds heading into the shootout stage with a 1328 pinfall with handicap with second seed Pinaula on his heels with a 1242 series.
The shootout could not start however as Terry Roberto buried a strike with her provisional ball to get past Rick Ada Sr. in an exciting two frame roll-off to determine the final slot of the top ten bowlers for the title shot. She continued her run in the even number bracket to eliminate 8th seed Rick Torres and 6th seed Guam Senior Bowling Federation president Joe Mafnas 210 to 151 and 174 respectively.
The odd number bracket saw Ben Taimanglo’s mark in the 10th frame was enough to upset 5th seed 2016 Senior Bowler of the Year Virgil Toledo and 7th seed Kathy Mandapat 212 to 188 and 196 respectively.
The quarterfinals resulted in Taimanglo nipping 4th seed Liz Salas 180-178 while 3rd seed Nestor Valencia stopped Roberto’s with a 258-196 score. Catbagan then eliminated Taimanglo in the semi-final round 209-181. Pinaula likewise eliminated Valencia 222-203 to set up the final match.
Both finalists had the same handicap and equal skill as the two matched up mark for mark with no clear advantage either bowler until the 10th frame. With the possibility of a tie and another roll-off for the title, Pinaula shook off anxiety and nerves to slam the double he needed to take advantage of the number one seed. Catbagan added to the drama as his first throw roared into the pocket and when the pins settled, a lonely ten pin result handed the final verdict for the contest and a sigh of relief for Pinaula who had let the monthly title slip from his fingers a couple of times during the 2016.
The two gladiators of the lanes gave each other a congratulatory hug for a great title match. Catbagan did not go away empty handed however. He took most of the pot games during the qualifiers to add on to his second place winnings and knowing that there are still ten more chances this 2017 season to get a title. He will certainly be back for another shot. Count on it.
The next monthly senior tournament will be at 11:00 a.m., Sunday, February 26th at Central Lanes. This tournament is open to all bowlers aged 50 or will be 50 by December 31, 2017. This is a handicapped event with a cash prize going to the top four finishers. For more information contact Central Lanes bowling counter.