Bowling: PH's Merwin Tan bags Asian youth singles title

Dominic Menor, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Apr 20 2019 09:28 PM | Updated as of Apr 21 2019 07:53 AM

Merwin Tan, who entered the national program in 2016, is the only boys player on the senior men's team. Handout

Merwin Tan of the Philippines won the gold medal in the boys singles event of the Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships in Kuching city, Malaysia, on Saturday.

The Philippine Bowling Federation Inc., the sport's national governing body, confirmed the development on Facebook.

Tan, 19, clinched the title by registering 1,352 pinfalls in 6 rounds to edge Australia’s William Clark (1,334) and South Korea’s Park Sang-hyeok (1,326).

"Masaya siya kasi before the start of this tournament, we were making some changes doon sa physical game niya," Biboy Rivera, the men's national team coach, told ABS-CBN News in a phone interview.

He was referring to Tan's form and compatibility with his equipment.

"Initially medyo nagwo-worry siya kung aabot or makukuha niya before the tournament," Rivera said. "Optimistic naman kami sa time frame and masipag naman siyang mag-practice kaya nakuha niya agad."

Tan, who entered the national program in 2016, is the only boys player on the senior men's team.

He anchored the Philippines in the 2018 world youth championships, leading the squad to a bronze medal in the team event. He also participated in the 2017 Southeast Asian Games, and was the country's representative in last year's World Cup in Las Vegas.

Rivera considers Tan "the best bet" on the youth team.

" 'Yung maturity niya as a player in his young age, composure niya and calmness" are what sets him apart from his peers, the coach added.

"Jolly din siya and he unites the team."

Tan is scheduled to also see action in the doubles and team-of-4 events in Kuching.

National teammate Kenzo Umali (1,261) was the second-best performing Filipino juniors player, placing 10th.

In girls singles, Alyssa Ty was the best Philippines finisher at 18th place. Macau and two South Korean players finished 1-2-3 in that order.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.