SINGAPORE: Malaysia continued with their strong show in the Aviva Asian Bowling Tour Grand Slam Finals with Lai Kin Ngoh and Choy Poh Lai taking the top two spots after the first block of eight games of the women’s competition at the Cathay Bowl here yesterday.
It was a good day for the Malaysian women with five of their six representatives putting themselves in strong positions to make the cut for the next stage.
Busan Asian Games Masters silver medallist Kin Ngoh knocked down 1,872 pins for an average of 225 to lead the 16-player field.
Choy Poh Lai had a good first-time out in the Finals and trails Kin Ngoh by seven pins. The Commonwealth Championships’ singles bronze medallist had a total of 1,865 for an average of 224.
The Philippines Open champion, Liza del Rosario, split the Malaysian domination by occupying third spot with a total of 1,767.
Wendy Chai, who retained the Singapore Open Masters title on Wednesday, knocked down 1,738 pins to take fourth spot while the top ranked qualifier for the Finals, Shalin Zulkifli, is in fifth place with a score of 1,703.
Another Malaysian, Sharon Chai, is in last place with a score of 1,503 – 174 pins behind eighth-place teammate Sarah Yap, who has a score of 1,677.
The bowlers will play another seven games today to complete the first-round competition.
The top eight finishers qualify for the quarter-finals, which take a knockout format. The Malaysian women will surely want to provide an early knockout punch to their rivals’ aspirations.
Kin Ngoh said that she was disappointed with her performance in the stepladder finals of the preceding Singapore Open.
“I could only finish sixth. It was very disappointing because I felt that I was in very good form and could have achieve something better,” said the Penang-born Kin Ngoh.
Kin Ngoh is hoping to continue with her strong form today.
“It is important for me to make the cut for the quarter-finals tomorrow,” she said.
For Poh Lai, her lucky ball has put her in a strong position to get among the top eight for the knockout stage.
The Johor-born bowler opted for the 15-pound ball, which she used to hit a perfect game in the Malaysian Open last year.
“I certainly feel lucky. I seldom use this ball. This is a good start and I hope to keep it up tomorrow to qualify for the next round,” said Poh Lai.
“If I can improve on my sparing, I have a good chance of going far here. I feel comfortable with the lanes here.”