If you asked second seed and Guam Senior Bowlers Association (GSBA) president John Salas his chances for winning the 2018 GSBA Senior Grand Finals, he’d probably tell you it only happens in dreams. Well dreams came through for the grand senior kegler who just returned from his first Asia Senior Bowling Championship (ASBC) tournament by doing just that. Salas defeated third seed Manny Tagle and November champion Patricia Roberto to claim the 2018 GSBA Senior Bowler of the Year crown and the $1,000 guaranteed cash prize.
It wasn’t easy for the other eight finalists who showed up for the event. Pinaula led the top six after the initial five game qualifier into the three game shootout round to determine the final four bowlers who will battle for the championship. Top seed Pinaula fell to fourth seed Roberto in two games, 206-189 and 188-183 with handicap in a lower seed must beat the higher seed to advance to the championship matches. Second seed Salas made the other half of the championship match by upsetting veteran Manny Tagle 220-195 with handicap to advance.
The championship match was equally exciting as the two unlikely finalists coming off upsets were now playing each other for the title. Salas got the advantage by taking the first game 210-172 with handicap. The second game proved much more difficult as timely spares from Salas and miscues from Roberto in the latter frames resulted in a 173-172 one pin victory and the Senior Bowler of the Year title. Salas said afterwards that the training he received from Manny Tagle who coached the Guam team for the ASBC and the years involved in sports as a manager for various teams in other sports helped him to focus and stay composed when things were not going his way. But he never figured on walking away with the coveted title of GSBA Senior Bowler of the Year for 2018. In addition, Salas will be invited to defend his title next December in 2019.
The top six finalists will be presented their cash awards at Central Lanes on Friday January 4th, 6PM at Central Lanes, Trophies will also be awarded to the top four bowlers.
The Guam Senior Bowlers Association are calling on all bowlers 50 years of age or will be 50 by December 31, 2019 to consider becoming members and entering the monthly senior tournaments. Additional requirements are listed in the qualifying rules that will be posted at Central Lanes in January 2019. Interested seniors may also contact any Guam Senior Bowler Association board member or tournament chairperson Rick Torres at 687-4291.
Story and photos provided by Rick Torres.