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BOWLING: MEMORIAL DAY CLASSIC TOURNEY

San Nicolas conquers dual pattern for title

PRESS RELEASE – The inaugural Guam Bowling Congress Memorial Day Classic tournament took place at the Central Lanes Bowling Center on Monday, May 27, 2024. The competitors were grouped into three divisions: Open, Classified which catered to bowlers with average below 180, and the Senior division for bowlers 50 years of age and above. 

Qualifying for the divisional Top 16 finals were held during the month. Southpaws ruled the Open division taking the first four slots. RJ Santos topped the field averaging 241 pins per game knocking sets of 715 and 732 as he amassed a 1447 total. Jeremiah Camacho was 26 pins adrift, Robert Peredo in third and Daniel Lee. The right handers were led by John John Ada who rounded off the top five.  Zaldy Ponce edged Ray Manibusan for the Seniors pole position followed by Ina Lee, Frank San Agustin, and Robert Baker. The Classified division was led by Graig Reyes, with Matthew Santos in second, Jevin Espiritu, Isaiah Morellano, and Zayne Zamora rounding off the top five.

The Game changed when the lane pattern drawn up for the final day was laid. Bowlers were forced to make adjustments on the dual lane pattern format with one lane pattern shorter than the other. As the day progressed and the four games were contested the top four players propelled to the second round of competition.

Ray San Nicolas ruled the open division with an 857 set with Charlie “MamaChar” Catbagan in second, Noah Taimanglo in third, and Robert Peredo making the final four cut by a mere six sticks. Arlene Reyes posted the highest set in the senior division with 883 pins including handicap. Todd Hamm was a distant second by 76 pins with Ina Lee five pins behind. Zaldy Ponce stayed in contention for the title, edging Jess Muya for the coveted fourth slot by six pins.  Isaiah Morellano led the hotly contested classified division by 15 pins over Kevin Fejeran while Matthew Santos was 3 sticks out with Jerome Rivera in fourth, six pins adrift. Shane San Nicolas finished just outside the cut by 13 pins.

With the top four bowlers set in each division’s semifinal round, a one-game roll-off ensued. San Nicolas continued his streak with a 246 game to earn the first spot in the Open division finals. His opponent would emerge from being down in the set as MamaChar doubled in the closing frames to force Taimanglo to spare in the tenth frame. Taimanglo left a 2-4-5 combination which he failed to convert, sending Catbagan to the divisional finals. 

Zaldy Ponce pulled all the stops after opening with an errand frame where he put himself further in a hole already down by 35 pins through the handicapping system. He was able to compose himself, thereafter, putting four strikes in a row to get back into the match and eventually bowl a 201 game to advance to the finals. Ina Lee edged Arlene Reyes for the finals spot by seven pins.

Matthew Santos and Isaiah Morellano both opened in the first frame of the Classified division but were able to string strikes in the ensuing frames to advance to the divisional finals. Santos finished with a 211 total, Morellano 191, while Rivera was 21 sticks behind and Fejeran four more.

The top two bowlers from each division would move on to the divisional finals for a chance at the top prize and trophy.  The divisional finals pitted San Nicolas against Catbagan, Ponce versus Lee, and Santos challenging Morellano for the right to move on to the Memorial Classic Grand Finals.  San Nicolas strung ten strikes in a row before finishing with a 287 game to oust Catbagan for the Open division title. Ponce took control of the Senior finals early to advance to the Grand Final against Lee and Santos was able to squeeze by Morellano in the Classified finals for the title.

The Grand Finals showcased the winners of each division with handicapping provided for the Senior and Classified winners. In the end, San Nicolas convincingly captured his first title of the year capping a day of great bowling on the dual patter lane condition with a 214 game. Senior division champion Zaldy Ponce finished with a 174 total for second place, and Classified division champion Matthew Santos finished 3rd.  Each of the top four bowlers was awarded prize money for their accomplishments with the Grand champion hoisting the Memorial Day Classic Tournament Cup.

The event was sponsored by Elegant Reflections and Budweiser and organized by the Guam Bowling Congress. The bowlers acknowledged the presence of our service personnel and paid tribute with a moment of silence in honor and memory of our heroes before the start of the event. 

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COMING SOON …

Guam National Bodybuilding Championship June 29

Father Duenas Alumni Basketball Tournament

Guam National Triathlon Championship July 14

QUICK HITS

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