The Philippine bowling team ended the country’s 15-year medal drought in the world stage after winning two bronze medals in the 2021 IBF Super World Championships in Dubai, UAE on Monday.
The Filipino keglers nabbed the bronze medals both in the men’s and women’s team event to return to the podium for the first time since Biboy Rivera took home the Masters gold medal in 2006.
Rivera, who now serves as the coach for the national athletes, was elated to see the team win, not just one, but two medals to end the long drought.
“It has been a long time since the Philippine men and ladies teams have had a medal at the World Championships. It is extra special to have won it at the same time. Bronze feels like Gold!,” said Rivera in a post on his Facebook page.
The athletes had to go through tough competition on their way to the podium finish.
The men’s team, bannered by Kenneth Chua, Patrick Nuqui, Merwin Tan and Ian Dychangco, survived a tie-breaker to catch the last bus to the Round of 16.
The Filipinos then went on a hot streak from there, beating Germany 237-227, Kuwait 224-223 and USA 277-213 in Group A. They continued to roll in the quarterfinals where it defeated Denmark 239-235 before falling to the hands of Singapore, 228-247, in the semis.
The Philippine women’s team composed of Rachelle Leon, Mades Arles, Norel Nuevo and Dubai-based Uella Marcial, meanwhile, had a smooth sailing through Round of 16, finishing atop the Group A standings. The Filipinas beat Singapore, 264-219, Sweden 227-213, and only lost once, against Norway 182-258.
The Jojo Canare-mentored squad then took down Colombia, 232-175, in the quarterfinals before losing to Malaysia, 188-279, in the semifinals.