Sunday, December 17, 2017 – CENTRAL LANES BOWLING CENTER, Tamuning, Guam
If you asked Alex Kloulubak earlier last year what were the chances of bowling against his best friend for the coveted Senior Bowler of the Year title, he would have told you he was no where in the level of his Jim Pinaula. Yet Sunday afternoon the tall soft spoken senior bowler faced this year’s three time monthly winner and heavy favorite for the championship and took the title 229-183 with handicap.
It was by no easy task as the 21 person field ended their opening six game qualifying round with Ray Manibusan finishing in first place with a 1276 pinfall count. Pinaula and Rudy Palaganas tied for second right behind with a 1265 count. All three received bonus cash money for their first block effort.
The second three game elimination block for the top twelve seniors was a major hurdle as the lane patterns began to change a bit driving the scoring to rise even higher with Pinaula ending this block with a 717 series with handicap. Kloulubak howver was right with him with a 686 series with handicap.
The tournament then moved to the nerve wracking top 6 quarterfinals with third seed Palaganas falling to fourth seed Manny Torre 212-201. Sixth seed Manibusan shut down fifth seed Zaldy Ponce 259-197 with handicap to advance to the semi-finals.
Hot handed Pinaula wasted no time dispatching Manibusan 217-161 to head into the championship round. Meantime Kloulubak survived his match by taking advantage of Torre’s open in the tenth frame with three strikes over his last two frames to win 192-183 with handicap and a showdown with his best friend.
The championship however was to be the first to two wins as it was now going into eleven games for both competitors. Kloulubak came out with an error free first game win 229-183. Fatigue began to set in for both seniors going into the twelth game with Pinaula having to win to force a third and deciding game. But the two gladiators decided to give the crowd a show to remember as Pinaula led after five frames with strikes in the second, fourth, and fifth frame. But a errant throw in the sixth frame resulted in a split and turned things around for his team mate turned foe. Kloulubak, facing major championship pressure for the first time responded with six marks including strikes in the fourth to sixth frame to take a narrow lead. Despite an open in the seventh frame, Kloulubak matched up with Pinaula over the final three frames to hold on for the win and the championship.
In congratulatory style the two friends hugged after the match and Pinaula pointed to Kloulubak with a smile and said “That’s my brother!” The two celebrated their efforts with dinner with their close friends and coach Manny Tagle afterwards. It was a great end to the final championship by the Guam Senior Bowlers Federation. The monthly senior tournament will now be sponsored by the Guam Senior Bowlers Associaton or GSBA. One of the major changes in the monthly senior contest is that it will be a “members only” tournament meaning that entrants must be a full fledged member of the GSBA in order to compete according to newly elected president John Salas. Those wishing to join GSBA can become members can pay the annual $60 dues in January. For more information please contact GSBA tournament chairperson Rick Torres at 687-4291 or the bowling counter at Central Lanes.