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Salem beats Aseel in exciting Group 1 Championship match Catapia stuns rivals with 2nd runner up finish

KUWAIT CITY, April 22: In an exciting championship match that was extended to 2 games, the lanky Salem Hajras subdued fellow Kuwait national team standout and twice to beat Aseel Al Roomi to win the coveted Group 1 title of the 2014 5th OGBL Cup Tenpin Bowling Tournament held at the Cozmo Bowling Center in Khaifan. Meanwhile, the biggest surprise of this event organized by Oscar Group Bowling League (OGBL) came when lone female qualifier Liza Catapia stunned her more illustrious rivals with her second runner up finish.

After the qualifying round the Top 20 Bowlers based on their best 5 sets (2 games per set) returned to the lanes for the 8-game series semifinals where the Top 6 will further advance to the step ladder format finals. Heading the 20 semifinalists was Abdullatef Al Omairi who carded a 10-game series score of 2270 pin falls taken from his highest sets of 498, 468, 438, 436 and 430. OGBL prexy Mousa Abdullah was up next with 2213 (454, 444, 444, 437,434) followed by Aseel Al Roomi who garnered 2210 pin falls through best sets of 471,447,440,433, and 419. The rest of the semifinalists with their respective qualifying round scores are as follows, Aldin Avila-2202, Ibrahim Al Jadi-2155, Salem Hajras-2149, Aqeel JR Sabado-2138, Al Farisy-2137, Ibrahim Dubayan-2123, Fadel-Qassem-2178, Rudy Zablan-2073, Romel Genciana-2070, Rod Llait-2060, Al Bautista-2059, Liza Catapia-2049, Glenn Corbit-2042, Dhari Al Amiri-2037, Nasser Hajras-2029, Fahad Abul-2026 and Bader Omair-2023.

Through an explosive 254 score in game 1 and a 183 in the next game, Aseel Al Roomi emerged as the early leader with 437 pin falls. The other front runners after the first two games were Salem Hajras-420, Mousa Abdullah-394, Fahad Abul-390, Glenn Corbit-386 and Ibrahim Dubayan-370. In the next two games, Aseel Al Roomi (838) and Salem Hajras (813) kept their respective positions in the standings while barging into the Top 6 at the halfway mark were Dhari Al Amiri-804, Liza Catapia-800 and Nasser Hajras-786. Mousa Abdullah with 781 was able to hang on to sixth place followed closely by the other contenders headed by Fahad Abul-769, Rod Llait-758, Glenn Corbit-758, JR Sabado-758, Aqeel Farisy-735, Abdullatef Al Omairi-735, Rudy Zablan-733, Fadel Qassem-716, Rommel Genciana-712, Al Bautista-704, Ibrahim Jadi-701, Aldin Avila-699, Bader Omairi-699 and Ibrahim Dubayan-644.

The lead changed hands in the next two games as Salem Hajras (1201) stormed into the lead relegating Aseel Al Roomi (1194) to second place. Liza Catapia meanwhile remained well placed in third with 1192 towing the rest of the Top 6 namely Dhari Al Amiri (1175), Fahad Abul (1158) and Mousa Abdullah (1154) to the penultimate game 7 of the 8-game series round. Salem Haras after a 212 in game 7 kept the top spot followed now by longshot lady kegler Liza Catapia who submitted a 1388. With only a game left to bowl, the remaining contenders for a place in the finals were Dhari Al Amiri-1373, Fahad Abul-1350, Aseel Al Roomi-1344, Nasser Hajras-1339, Mousa Abdullah-1325 and Ibrahim Al Jadi-1320. And as the dust of the semis settled down, Salem Haras bagged the twice to beat top finalist post with his 8-game tally of 1649 pin falls and joining him in the finals were Al Bautista who closed out with two big games to land in second place with 1562, Liza catapia-1555, Fahad Abul-1541, Aseel Al Roomi-1534 and Mousa Abdullah-1528.

Moving on to the much awaited step ladder finals, Fahad Abul, Aseel Al Roomi and Mousa Abdullah bowled in the first match hoping to move a step up . In a low scoring game, Aseel Al Roomi (173) eliminated Fahad Abul (171) and Mousa Abdullah (159). After the close victory, Aseel Al Roomi went up against Liza Catapia who defied the odds by making it to the finals of the elite group but unfortunately for the lady pin buster Aseel Al Roomi has all the intention to move further up the ladder and booked a 197-164 win. Like a well oiled machine Aseel advanced to the championship via another convincing 185-144 victory over Al Bautista.

In order to get a shot at the title, Aseel Al Roomi have to beat Salem Hajras who earned the twice to beat edge after finishing on top in the semis. The hard hitting Aseel did just that as he defeated Salem Hajras in a tight game 191-182. The deciding game proved to be another cliffhanger in the making as the two protagonist bowled toe to toe until the closing frames. With the necessary breaks of the game going his way, Salem Hajras lifted the championship trophy by brushing aside his worthy opponent 202-196. In the special prizes at stake the winners are as follows,  OGBL Member High Series-Mousa Abdullah 2213, OGBL Member High Game-Salem Hajras 278 and Main High Series-Abdullatef Al Omairi 2270.

By Miguel Carlos
Special to the Arab Times

By: Miguel Carlos

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