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Thursday, April 24, 2014

Villavicencio takes Queen of the Lanes tiara

Yho Villavicencio, seen here with the runner-up trophy during the SBA awards ceremony last year, this time will bring home the championship trophy in the Budweiser Queen of the Lanes tournament after ruling last Sunday’s finale. (ROSELYN B. MONROYO) No more bridesmaid finish for Yho Villavicencio this time, as she ruled Saipan Bowling Association’s 2013 Budweiser Queen of the Lanes Tournament held last Sunday at the Saipan Bowling Center.

Villavicencio defeated veteran bowler Elena Soll in the finals to end her losing skid in the season-ending tournament. Villavicencio placed runner-up in the Queen of the Lanes finale for three straight years and four of the last five seasons. She settled for second place against Diane Camacho (2012), Gloria Omechelang (2011 and 2010), and Emy Williams (2008). Ron Cal topped the 2009 edition of the annual tournament, beating Camacho.

Villavicencio was pitted against Soll in the title duel after securing the outright first finals berth and topping the eight-game qualifying roll-off. The eventual champion collected 1,350 pinfalls in the qualifier, earning no less than 140 pinfalls in all eight games and posting her best score in Game 3 (193). Villavicencio carded 169, 181, 169, 146, 140, 166, and 186 in the seven other games to average 168.75 pinfalls and automatically advance to the finals.

Omechelang and Soll finished second and third, respectively, in the qualifier to make it to the stepladder finals and get a chance to challenge Villavicencio. Omechelang was the only bowler to record at least 200 pinfalls in a single game with her 206 in Game 2 and adding her 160, 169, 177, 124, 155, 165, and 181 in the remaining games, she collected 1,337 pinfalls for the runner-up honors in the qualifier.

Soll made the final cut when she logged 1,312 pinfalls. She registered 178 pinfalls in three games, 150-plus (153, 157, and 158) in three more, and 144, and 166 in the last two for an average of 164, behind by more than three points against Omechelang (167.13).
Soll then pulled off an upset versus the second-ranked Omechelang in the stepladder finals, prevailing in the win-or-go home match, 164-144, to set up a finale face-off against Villavicencio. Villavicencio, who had a twice-to-beat advantage in the finals for topping the qualifier, finished off Soll early with a convincing 174-148 victory in Game 1.

Meanwhile, seven other female keglers joined Villavicencio, Soll, and Omechelang in the season-ending tournament. The list includes Tess Fabie (1,282 pinfalls), Cal (1,196), Lala Taitano (1,192), Cora Muna (1,179), Myrna Santos (1,177), Gigi Zapanta (1,129), and Marie Candado (1,088).

Players gained entry to the qualifying tournament after theiy either won a monthly crown or participated in at least four competitions (women’s only) in 2013. Fourteen keglers originally made the qualifiers list for the Queen of the Lanes. In the King of the Lanes, players would only qualify if they joined at least six roll-offs last year and 27 made the grade.

Leading the players competing in the King of the Lanes qualifier, which will be played this Sunday, is back-to-back champion Simon Manacop. He will be defending his crown against Edgar Abalos, Ben Aizon, Raymond Angeles, Alex Castro, Tito Corpuz, Benjie Cruz, Roger De Guzman, Ramir De Leon, Ariel and Raul Dumapit, Arnel Ibarreta, Jerry Kaneshi, Jae Yong Kim, Yong Woon Lee, Rusty Musca, Percy Omechelang, Paul Pangelinan, Bernard Paraiso, Jorge Soledad, Robert Talavera, Lito Teodoro, Tony Yarobwemal, and the Zapanta siblings—Raphael, Raymond, and Ruselle.

Registration for the nine-game qualifying roll-off will start at 12:30pm, while matches will begin at 1pm, and followed shortly by the stepladder finals. Only the Top 3 finishers in the qualifier will advance to the stepladder finals.

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