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Borja, Reyes crowned 2022 Budweiser King and Princess of the Lanes

Sunday, December 18, 2022 – CENTRAL LANES BOWLING CENTER, Tamuning, Guam

Central Lanes was buzzing with anticipation as the Grand Finals of the Budweiser King and Prince of the Lanes got underway on Sunday, December 18, 2022.  Guam’s top keglers competed over seven hours on three different lane patterns to determine the year-end champions along with the monetary prize purse and crowns.

The alternating short, medium, and long pattern took its toll on all bowlers during the day.  In the King division, the high score registered during game 1 was a 198 game by Brian Manibusan.  Cameron Santos’ 222 set in the second game took him to the leader board where he continued his lead through game three.  However, a 268 fourth game by Gregory Borja catapulted him to pole position, 78 pins ahead of the pack and never looked back as he cruised through game eight as the top seed with scores of 153, 228, 189 and 200.  Borja topped the qualifying table by maintain his 70+ pin lead over runner up Ricky Duenas followed by Noah Taimanglo, Aaron Elliott, Jay Leon Guerrero and RJ Santos who qualified for the elimination rounds.

Alongside the anticipation came the excitement which did not fade throughout the elimination rounds.  In the first of two round 1 elimination matches, 6th seed Santos opened the match with a three-bagger as 3rd seed Taimanglo fell behind early in the game with a combination of strikes and spares.  Towards the later frames, Santos’ attempt at a pin ten spare went awry followed by an overcompensated 3-9 conversion which sailed left in the foundation frame. Taimanglo took full advantage of opportunity as he doubled in the final stanza to eliminate the south paw 218-206.  On the adjacent lane, 5th seed Jay Leon Guerrero dropped a four bagger mid-game to upend 4th seed Aaron Elliott 214-183 and advanced to the semi-final round.

The excitement continued for Taimanglo during the semi-final round as he took top seed Borja to the last ball of the last frame.  Both bowlers went neck-to-neck throughout the game with Taimanglo taking a slight advantage going into the final frame.  Taimanglo drilled the first throw shattering the pins for a strike, and a second ball that seemed to have given him the game.  However, a stubborn pin eight stood in his way which gave life to Borja in the final stanza.  Borja took the pressure in stride as he drilled three pocket strikes to edge out Taimanglo by a stick, 193-192 and advanced to the Grand Finale.  The flip-side match-up was a battle of the experienced bowlers as 2nd seed Ricky Duenas prevailed over 4th seed Jay Leon Guerrero taking advantage of missed spares to cruise to the Grand Finals with a 206-147 set.

The King of the Lanes Grand Finals did not disappoint.  With $1,400.00 on the line, both bowlers bowled their hearts out with neither being able to take advantage of each one’s errors during the game.  With the opportunity at hand for 2nd seed Ricky Duenas, he calmly delivered a strike in the first ball of the tenth frame as top seed Borja can only watch from behind.  With the game at stake along with the crown and prize purse, Duenas delivered a beautiful shot down the lane only to be teased by a ringing pin ten that gave the match to top seed Gregory Borja for his third Budweiser King of the Lanes Grand Finale title.

The Budweiser Prince of the Lanes event was just as exciting as their King counterparts.  Arlene Reyes led the field of qualifiers by fifty-one pins with Gomes Martines finishing in second place.  There was tension and added drama as miscalculated handicapping for a couple of bowlers rearranged the outcome with Shannon Bukikosa-Esplana and Claricelle Lanuza jumping the field to finish in a tie for 3rd and 4th in the qualifying rounds dropping Cesar Soriano to 5th, Sheila Bangs to sixth, Bill Roberto to seventh and Jose Natividad to eighth.  After a compromise between the bowlers in 3rd to 8th place, the elimination matches got underway.

In the first group, Bukikosa-Esplana and Bangs edged Roberto by three pins as he was unable to convert split spares in the nineth and tenth frames.  With the scores of Bukikosa-Esplana and Bangs all notted up at 173, a provisional tie breaker ball sent Bukikosa-Esplana to the semi-final round as she struck against the seven pin count of Bangs.  In the second group of bowlers Jose Natividad spared his way to the semi-final round beating 4th seed Lanuza and 5th seed Soriano 211-180-182.

Top seed Reyes eliminated Bukikosa-Esplana in the semi-final round as the latter competitor was unable to get her rhythm going during the game dropping the match 173-160.  2nd seed Martinez also took full advantage of the lower seeds inability to counter the difficult lanes with a 192-160 drubbing of 8th seed Natividad to set up the Budweiser Prince of the Lanes Grand Finals.

In another down to the wire Grand Finals, Reyes kept pace with Martinez and within striking distance of the title as she used up all her 21-pin handicap advantage to edge out the 2nd seed with a final score of 176 to 172.  Reyes’ strike in the tenth frame was key to her first Grand Final crown and prize purse of $1,000.00.

The Budweiser King and Prince of the Lanes is sponsored by Ambros Inc., Unity Development Corporation dba Central Lanes and PinPoint Guam.

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