PH Bowling Spearhead. Lefty Merwin Tan, shown with his trophy after winning the prestigious men’s masters in the last Philippine International Open bowling championships, will spearhead the country’s charge in the bowling competitions of the 30th Southeast Asian Games. (Photo courtesy of ABF website)

Tan leads PH bowlers in 30th SEA Games

Date: October 12, 2019

WITH veteran Enzo Hernandez unable to compete due to his hectic studies as lawyer in the US, the task of leading the country’s charge in the bowling competitions of the 30th Southeast Asian Games rests on the shoulders of fellow southpaw and former bowling prodigy Merwin Tan.

The soft-spoken Tan, 20, is on a roll, having won a gold medal in the men’s singles of the Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships in Kuching, Malaysia last May and two golds at the tough 51st Singapore International Open the succeeding month.

Earlier, he also won the prestigious men’s masters plum in the Philippine International Open bowling championships.

“I am very determined because this year was a learning experience for me. All the tournaments that I have won made me more confident. I am determined to do my best in the upcoming Southeast Asian Games,” said Tan, who will also represent the country in the 2019 AMF World Cup. “In my opinion, it was not magic. It is pure hardwork and dedication.”

In what seems to be the ideal SEA Games tuneup, the Pinoy kegler will be going up against the world’s bests bowlers in the World Cup to be held from Nov. 16 to 24 at the Jakabaring Sports City Bowling Center in Palembang, Indonesia.

This event should keep him in competitive form for SEA Games bowling tournament to be held shortly thereafter at the refurbished Starmall Bowling Center in Mandaluyong, whose lanes are tailor-made to lefty like Tan.

Despite his recent accomplishments, Tan is not taking anything for granted, saying: “I feel I'm not in my peak yet, because I am just doing my best in every competition I play.’

With Tan as the spearhead, Filipino keglers will be bidding to break out of an eight-year slump in the regional sportsfest since Frederick Ong and Jeremy Posadas made it a 1-2 finish in the men’s singles of the 2011 SEAG edition held in the Western Sumatran provincial capital of Palembang.

The country won a paltry bronze medal in the team-of-five of the women’s event in the 2017 Malaysia SEA Games.