A Top 5 finish in the men's doubles increased the chances of siblings Raphael and Ruselle Zapanta in the Masters Finals of the ongoing 26th Asian Intercity Bowling Championships.
The Zapanta brothers teamed up for 2,518 pinfalls in the men's doubles competition at the Premium Lanes Penang in Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, last Sunday, to place fifth out of 37 pairs. Ruselle collected 1,291 pinfalls, including the best score (268) in a single game for an impressive average of 215. 17 pinfalls-the seventh best among the more than 60 bowlers. He recorded 179, 267, 194, 190, and 193 in the five other games.
Raphael had 200-plus pinfalls in three games (213 and 225 in Games 1 and 2 and 216 in Game 4) and adding his 182, 199, and 192, he netted 1,227 and also averaged 200-plus pinfalls (204.50) in six games.
Counting Raphael's fourth-field best 1,288 in the men's singles last Saturday and Ruselle's 1,239 (No. 13), the Zapanta siblings are currently in the Top 16 in the men's all-events. Ruselle's 2, 530 total pending the results of the team event is ranked No. 8, tying Kuching, Malaysia's Lok Tze Kong, while Raphael is at the No. 10th spot with his 2,515.
Once all the singles, doubles, and team event scores are in, only the Top 16 players will advance to the Masters Finals, which will have a knockout format to determine the champion of the centerpiece event. Last year in Singapore, Raymond Zapanta made it to the Sweet 16 before bowing to No. 2 finisher Min Su Park of Daegu, Korea. Ruselle and Raphael missed the cut last year after placing only at No. 19 and No. 55, respectively.
Four other Saipan players joined the doubles and all-events, but are unlikely to advance to the next round after missing the Top 10 in the first two categories.
Robert Talavera and Simon Manacop combined for 2,272 pinfalls to place at No. 25, while Bernard Paraiso and Ariel Dumapit mustered only 1,834 to finish at the cellar. Adding his 1,269 in the singles, Manacop is currently ranked No. 24 in the all-events, while Talavera (985 pinfalls), Paraiso (992), and Dumapit (888) are way behind, placing at No. 55, 63, and 66, accordingly.