The youngest bowler in Saipan's delegation turned out to be the best finisher on the squad, as 18-year-old Raphael Zapanta finished fourth in the men's singles event in the 26th Asian Intercity Bowling Championships.
Zapanta collected 1,288 pinfalls in the six-game roll-off last Saturday at the Premium Lanes Penang in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, to place fourth in the 68-player field. He started his campaign in the annual tournament with 200-plus pinfall performance in Games 1 and 2 (258 and 204) and remained steady in the last four games (199, 204, 189, and 234) for an impressive average of 214.17 pinfalls.
Zapanta missed the No. 3 spot by only two pinfalls, as the host's Jason Yam Khai Donq earned 1,290 pinfalls for an average of 215. Paranaque, Philippines' Jeremy Posadas ruled the men's singles event with his 1,335 in six games, 33 pinfalls ahead of the host city's Adrian Charles Dragon.
The youngest bowler on the six-man Saipan delegation finished ahead of two Tamuning, Guam bets-Jay Leon Guerrero (sixth/1,281) and JD Castro (seventh, 1,269). Raphael's fourth place finish duplicated Saipan's best performance in the annual competition. Raphael's brother, Ruselle, totaled 1,279 pinfalls in the 25th Asian Intercity Bowling Championship in Singapore last year, missing the podium by only five pinfalls.
Ruselle returned to the same tournament and this time was ranked at No. 13 after gaining 1,239 pinfalls. Ruselle had an explosive start in the singles event with his 277 pinfalls-the best score in the field in Game 1-and also recorded 200-plus pinfalls in the last two games (216 and 214) to go with his 156, 181, and 195.
Simon Manacop was also on the squad and was Saipan's second best finisher, tying Castro at the No. 7 spot. Manacop's highest score was made in Game 6 (244) and he had two more 200-plus pinfalls (207 in Game 3 and 233 in Game 6.
Completing Saipan Bowling Association's roster was Robert Talavera, who finished at the No. 61 spot with his 985 pinfalls, while Bernard Paraiso and Ariel Dumapit, who represented the guest team Capitol Hill, collected 992 and 888, respectively, and were ranked at No. 59 and 65.