Sunday, May 26, 2019 – CENTRAL LANES BOWLING CENTER, Tamuning, Guam
For the third month in a row the top two seeds in the Guam Senior Bowlers Association monthly tournament were in the championship round. As many in bowling understand, one pin can mean the difference between a championship and being the runner-up. This is what a couple of finalists witnessed as second seed and Guam Senior Bowlers Association (GSBA) president John Salas pushed top seed veteran champion Jim Pinaula to a third and deciding match to post a narrow 199-198 victory and the GSBA May tournament championship.
Tough lane conditions at Central Lanes was the order of the day as the top twelve finalists began their shootout. Twelfth seed Liz Langas opened up by beating sixth seed Dave Fejeran 212-192. Tenth seed Alex Kloulubak rolled to a big 251-206 game over April champion Lito Teodoro to complete the even number bracket.
The odd number bracket shootout started with eleventh seed Felice Meeks over fifth seed and February champ Marie Velasco 206-190 with handicap. Ninth seed Zaldy Ponce fell to seventh seed Chris Norton 200-160 to advance to the next round.
Langas was eventually stopped 226-211 by Kloulubak in the second round. Meeks, however, continued her quest by upsetting Norton 213-200 with handicap to advance to the quarter-finals.
Meeks continued her drive by taking out third seed Nick Gutierrez 227-173 with handicap. In the other quarterfinal, fourth seed Rick Torres managed a 201-185 upset of Kloulubak to advance to the semifinals.
Fate decided to pay back Torres’ quarterfinal victory with a one pin loss to Salas 188-187 to end his title hopes. In the other semifinal, Pinaula put a string of strikes in the final six frames to end Meeks’ championship effort 231-211 to head into the title showdown with Salas.
The tournament championship is a “first to two wins” format. Salas used his handicap advantage to forge a narrow 194-189 win in the first match. Pinaula returned the favor with a close 226-221 win in the second match to even things up and force the third deciding game. It was then that the tough lane conditions played havoc with both participant’s games and nerves as the strikes were a bit harder to come by. Salas, however, claimed a double in the middle frames coupled with hard luck by Pinaula to produce enough strikes to overcome the handicap deficit to eke out the final 199-198 win and the May crown. Both keglers who are avid golfers as well, gave congratulatory hugs to each other for a well fought title series. Salas now has a spot in the December Grand Finals provided he complies with the other tournament rules. As a fully paid GSBA member, should he make the final championship cut which is yet to be determined, he will be eligible to bowl the bonus post tournament round for the “GSBA Members Only Monetary Bonus Prize”.
To be eligible for the Senior Grand Finals in December, senior participants MUST enter in six of the eleven GSBA monthly tournaments. This makes June the final month to join and be eligible for the Grand Finals.
The next monthly tournament will take place Sunday, June 30, at 11AM. Under the new rules, the tournament qualifier will be based on the participant’s Friday Night Senior League scores which shall count as an entry. The entry is based on a pin over average plus bonus points added to determine the top twelve finalists’ points ranking. A bowler can enter more qualifiers to make the top twelve shootout round. The top four tournament finalists compete for monetary prizes based on the number of entries.
The top twelve bowlers will be announced and/or posted on the Friday prior to the tournament on Sunday. For complete information, see the tournament rules posted on the bowling counter or see Manny Tagle at the Friday Night Senior League.