August and December winner Robert Talavera leads the 2005 season’s top 12 qualifiers for the season-ending Pepsi King of the Lanes Tenpin Bowling Tournament set for Jan. 15 at the Capital Bowling Center.
Talavera, an employee of the Saipan Bowling Center, finished the season heads and shoulders above the competition with 1,470 points, 177 ahead of his nearest pursuer.
Aside from the 100 points he won in each of his King of the Lanes triumphs, Talavera also racked up 100 points for topping the annual PBA Classified Bowling Tournament. He also received 120 points for finishing third in the SBC May Masters Tournament, 90 points from the PBA Bowler of the Year Tournament, 85 points from the April and October editions of the King of the Lanes and the All Events category of the aforementioned May Masters tourney, and 80 points each from the SBC Saturday Night, Wed-nesday Night, and Friday Night leagues.
Jess “Kuya RJ” Rebusada finished second to Talavera with 1,299 points. His biggest triumphs of the year were winning the All Events of the SBC May Masters and the April edition of the King of the Lanes. He also took home a slew of first runner-up and second runner-up trophies in 2005.
Last year’s King of the Lanes, Mark “The Shark” Halstead, finished third behind Talavera and Rebusada this season with 1,212 points. Halstead ruled the Masters event of the SBC May Masters and also took home several Top 5 finishes the past season.
Fourth and fifth places in the Top 12 belong to Dannie Robles and Richard Leong.
Robles came through with 1,198 points after going all the way in the March and October King of the Lanes. Robles, who last August joined an elite group of bowlers to roll a perfect 300 score, also acquitted himself well with runner-up finishes in half a dozen tournaments in 2005.
Leong, for his part, was the “winningest” player in the Saipan Bowling Association-organized and Pacific Trading Co.-bankrolled King of the Lanes with wins in July, September, and November. Runner-up finishes in the CBC Friday Night and Thursday Night leagues also helped him accumulate a grand total of 1,194 points.
The sixth to 12th places were cornered by Talavera’s older brother, Edgar (1,084 points), youth bowler Raymond Zapanta (910), January and May King of the Lanes Simon Manacop (893), June King of the Lanes Raul Dumapit (869), Zapanta’s older brother, Ruselle (714), veteran bowler Kitz Barja (612), and Alex Cacdac (607).
The 12 keglers will be joined by 12 wildcard bowlers in the Jan. 15 tiff. The names of the 24 bowlers and their alternates, who will vie for the 12 wildcard slots in a three-game roll-off a week prior to the season-ending tournament, will be published tomorrow.