The resurgence of Philippine bowling lies on the shoulders of young talents who—not because of their doing—will go into the International Bowling Federation Super World Championships in Dubai short in preparations but long in heart.
“I would say we still have a long way to go, specially now that we are in this (pandemic) situation,” said former World Masters champion Biboy Rivera, now the national team coach. “Now that the economy is in a decline, we expect a decrease in bowlers.”
The squad, composed of women’s team members Rachel Leon, Mades Arles and Norel Nuevo and Merwin Tan, Kenneth Chua and Patrick Nuqui, and the comebacking Ian de Chanco for the men, will fly out on Nov. 1 to cram-train, get acclimatized and be familiar with lane conditions as they seek to take the Philippines back to its lofty standing as a world power in the sport.
“Almost all our young bowlers will be competing in this event for the first time. They are excited to be among the best in the world,” said Rivera.
The event rolls off Nov. 4.
During the eras of Paeng Nepomuceno and Bong Coo, the country was regarded as a global force, only for the sport to steadily see a decline without much domestic interest and backing.
“Given that we only started training a few weeks ago, our bowlers are not yet in their best forms,” admitted Rivera. “But we will try our best for a podium finish.”
He said the team resumed training last July, but it was cut off by the latest surge in coronavirus cases and only restarted last week.
Rivera said they need more foreign exposure and foreign consultants to help keep abreast with the evolving techniques.
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.