Sunday, February 19, 2018 – Central Lanes Bowling Center, Tamuning, Guam
Ten was the lucky number during the February hosting of the 2018 Pin Point Guam King and Prince of the Lanes. Justin Mendiola and Naiyah Taimanglo finished the four-game qualifying round in tenth place in their respective divisions before maneuvering through the elimination rounds to claim the titles of King and Princess. Both bowlers beat out their 2nd seed opponents in the monthly finals.
Mendiola opened the King of the Lanes elimination round by ousting 14-year-old 5th seed Jeremiah Camacho. In round 2, he dueled with 6th seed Homer Cascasan stringing seven strikes in a row to close the match by the ninth frame with a 246 game against Cascasan’s 227. Mendiola took on top seed RJ Santos in the semi-final round taking an early lead as he opened the match with four strikes in a row, but a missed bucket spare on the fifth. The missed spare allowed Santos to mount his offense as he connected on a four-bagger to momentarily take the lead. Mendiola pulled off a turkey built on the ninth and tenth frames after Santos left a pin ten to advance to the championship round.
The monthly final was drama-filled as Mendiola competed against 15-year-old 2nd seed Frank Manibusan Jr. Manibusan, who opened the tournament with games of 286 and 254, qualified for the finals after putting together a four and five-bagger against 8th seed Aaron Elliott in the semi-final round for a 234-189 set.
The final match featured two-handed bowlers competing in their first monthly championship. Both bowlers struggled through the opening frames as nerves got the best of them. With the match at an impasse after four frames, Mendiola got to work as he was able to find his strike zone to string a four-bagger and build his lead to more than twenty pins. However, a split on the ninth frame allowed Manibusan to close the gap going into the final stanza. Manibusan punched out the match with a turkey to force Mendiola to spare and hit a seven count to claim his maiden title. With an anxious crowd, Mendiola delivered his first throw in the last frame leaving a pin ten. In the must spare situation, Mendiola calmly delivered picking the pin ten, closing out the match with a nine count for a 188-186 victory and earning his spot in the year-end Grand Finals.
RJ Santos led all qualifiers in the four-game qualifying round held earlier in the day with games of 223, 230, 221 and 256 for a 930 total, averaging 232 pins per game. Manibusan finished with a 911 total followed by Brian Manibusan (907), JD Castro (904), Jeremiah Camacho, Homer Cascasan, Pete Castro, Aaron Elliott, Cesar Villanueva and Justin Mendiola rounded off the top ten bowlers for the day.
The Prince of the Lanes championship round pitted two National Youth Team members vying for the monthly title. 2nd seed Jaecelyn Espiritu took the early lead from 10th seed Naiyah Taimanglo after a split on the second frame by the lower seed. The favor was returned in the third frame as Espiritu left a 7-10 split which Taimanglo capitalized on with a double and never looked back. From then, both bowlers matched each other’s output as Taimanglo claimed the crown with a 195-173 victory and receives her invitation to the year-end Grand Finals.
Taimanglo’s adventure included wins against 5th seed Merygrance Hernandez, 6th seed Eya Salandanan and a successful stint against top seed Raymond Cruz. Espiritu bowled a 223 game in her semi-final bout to eliminate 8th seed John Rodriguez.
Cruz led the Prince qualifying field followed by Espiritu, Jared Petrus, Mike Wong, Hernandez, Salandanan, JR Naron, Rodriguez, Lisa Duenas and Taimanglo who completed the top ten competitors.
The next Pin Point Guam 2018 King and Prince of the Lanes will be held on Sunday, March 18, 2018, 10:00 a.m. at the Central Lanes Bowling Center.