Raymond Zapanta foiled Simon Manacop’s bid for a three-peat after winning the Saipan Bowling Association’s 2013 Budweiser King of the Lanes Tournament held last Sunday at the Saipan Bowling Center.
Zapanta topped the nine-game qualifying tournament and then survived Manacop in the stepladder finals to end the latter’s reign in SBA’s season-finale competition. The newly crowned champion earned 200-plus pinfalls in seven of the nine games in the qualifier to gain the outright finals berth. He started the elimination tournament with 213 pinfalls and struggled in the next two (160 and 178) before finishing strong, posting 200-plus pinfalls in the last six (209, 201, 234, 224, 235, and 211).
The IT&E employee went on to collect 1,865 pinfalls and averaged 207.22 in the qualifier and was the lone bowler in the field to go over the 200-mark average, as Alex Castro and Manacop, who joined Zapanta in the stepladder finals, averaged only 197.89 and 195.22, respectively.
Castro made the cut despite a so-so start in the qualifier. He had only 172 pinfalls in Game 1, but had a solid performance in the next three (219, 201, 221) before tallying his lowest score in the qualifier in Game 5 (148). Castro quickly recovered in Game 6 (198) and went all out two of the last three games (232, 206, 184) to gather 1,781 pinfalls.
Manacop, who won the 2011 and 2012 editions of SBA’s season-finale tournament, had a roller-coaster showing in the qualifier. He knocked down at 200-plus pins on four occasions (213, 245, 212, and 235) and adding his scores in the five other games (181, 172, 185, 174, and 140), the erstwhile champion gained 1,757 pitfalls.
Manacop took the third and last spot to the stepladder finals after winning by only one pinfall against Ramir De Deleon, who earned 1,756 pinfalls. De Leon fell short on his bid to advance to the stepladder finals after carding 216 in the last game against the 235 of Manacop. Before the final game, De Leon was ahead of Manacop, 1,540-1,522.
With De Leon missing the cut, Manacop earned the right to face Castro in the first round of the stepladder finals. The back-to-back champion then eliminated Castro, 265-177, to boost his chances for the three-peat and challenge Zapanta in the finals.
Zapanta had a twice-to-beat advantage in the title duel after ruling the nine-game qualifier and needed the edge, as Manacop surprised the former in Game 1 with a 186-148 victory. The 148 in Game 1 of the finals was the lowest output of Zapanta in last Sunday’s tournament, but he made up for it by recording his best game in the weekend event—a 241-pinfall performance in the deciding Game 2 to end Manacop’s reign. Manacop had only 184 pinfalls for a two-game total of 370, while Zapanta got 389 to secure the title.
Meanwhile, 15 other bowlers joined last Sunday’s tournament. The list includes Robert Talavera (1,734), Paul Pangelinan (1,687), Raymond Angeles (1,663), Ronald Batac (1,657), Bernard Paraiso (1,657), Raphael Zapanta (1,645), Percy Omechelang (1,630), Lito Teodoro (1,621), Raul Dumapit (1,618), Yong Woon Lee (1,598), Ariel Dumapit (1,578), Rusty Musca (1,475), Roger De Guzman (1,440), Jorge Soledad (1,349), and Ruselle Zapanta (1,208).