Simon Manacop did it again.
The Department of Public Safety police officer battled siblings Ruselle and Raymond Zapanta in the stepladder finals anew and emerged victorious to take Saipan Bowling Association's 2012 Budweiser King of the Lanes title last Sunday at the Capital Bowling Center.
Manacop and the Zapanta brothers, who figured in the 2011 playoffs, made return trips to the stepladder finals after placing in the Top 3 in the nine-game qualifying roll-off. Manacop notched first place in the qualifier with his 1,786 pinfalls and gained an outright finals berth and twice-to-beat advantage in the championship.
Raymond and Ruselle collected 1,738 and 1,726 pinfalls in the qualifier to finish at No. 2 and 3, respectively, and duke it out for the first playoff game. Ruselle then eliminated Raymond, 206-183, to force a finals rematch against Manacop.
Manacop, who ousted Raymond in the semis and then defeated Ruselle twice in the finals of the 2011 season to get his first King of the Lanes crown in eight years, made it two in a row after frustrating the latter anew in last weekend's finale. Manacop sealed the championship right away with a 223-186 victory in Game 1.
The back-to-back champion started his campaign in the season-ending tournament with a bang, posting 200-plus pinfalls in the four of his first five Games (208, 205, and 211 in Games 1 to 3 and 205 in Game 5). Adding his 180, 198, 194, 161, and 175, Manacop averaged 198.44 pinfalls.
Raymond had the best single game score among the 15 qualifiers after tallying 270 in Game 7. His other 200-plus pinfall performance came in Game 5, while he recorded 144, 183, 157, 189, 187, 174, and 180 in the seven other games for a 193.11 average.
Ruselle was the third qualifier to average at least 190 pinfalls with his 191.78. He had a shaky start with 172 pinfalls in Game 1, but had three 200-plus pinfalls in three of the next six games (210 in Game 2, 212 in Game 6, and 230 in Game 7. His other scores were 150, 198, 198, 182, and 175.
Raphael missed an all-Zapanta stepladder finals when he finished fourth after the nine-game qualifying tournament. The youngest Zapanta earned 1,656 pinfalls and averaged 184 (223, 196, 194, 145, 166, 188, 193, 181, and 170). Rounding out the Top 5 was Korean Jaw Yong Kim, who averaged 175 pinfalls per game after collecting 1,575 pinfalls.
Other bowlers who joined the qualifier were Robert Talavera (1,568), Percy Omechelang (1,541), Jorge Soledad (1,517), Paul Pangelinan (1,506), Edward Baluyan (1,478), Raul Dumapit (1.448), Jerry Kaneshi (1,403), Yong Woon Lee (1,398), Tony Yarobwemal (1,357), and Ronald Batac (1,327).
Meanwhile, Manacop, and Queen and Prince of the Lanes Diana Camacho and M.J. Aldan will be feted in an awards ceremony this Sunday at 7pm at Shirley's Coffee Shop in Susupe. (Saipan Tribune)