Lara Posadas-Wong claimed the top spot of the qualifier for the women’s open of the Philippine International Open Tenpin Bowling Championships 2019 at the Coronado Lanes at Starmall, Mandaluyong City.

After compiling 1,384 pinfalls for two days, Posadas can clinch a favorable seeding in the open women’s finals set to begin Monday where a huge foreign contingent seeks to challenge defending champion Liza Del Rosario.

“There are too many talented bowlers out there and I hope to sustain this performance in the finals,’’ said Posadas, ahead by 51 pinfalls from 2017 World Cup champion Krizziah Tabora and by 91 from youth standout Bea Hernandez.

The top three performers during the week-long local qualifiers backed by Pagcor, Cafe Puro, Prima Pasta, Boysen Paints, Linden Suites and the Philippine Sports Commission will advance to the women’s finale where Del Rosario is already seeded.

This year’s PIO is a test event for the coming 30th Southeast Asian Games which the Philippines is hosting on Nov. 30-Dec. 11.

Posadas actually began the week on an auspicious note after rolling 625 that propelled the Pugo Adventure Team with teammates Scott Uy, Peter Go and Marc Matias to the title in the Corporate Cup during the opener last Saturday.

Del Rosario, though already seeded in the first round of the finals, is seeking an elimination-round finish inside the top 3, to automatically clinch a berth in the medal round.

On the men’s side, Kenneth Chua compiled 1440 pinfalls after two rounds followed by Frederick Ong (1412) and Merwin Tan (1388). They are aiming to qualify in the main contest where Australian Sam Cooley is the reigning champ.

Cooley and Del Rosario, who set her retirement from the national team after the SEA Games, will begin defending their titles on Monday.

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