Rivera: Latest bowling feat could fuel a resurgence

The country’s recent double bronze haul in the International Bowling Federation Super World Championships in Dubai struck a chord with national team coach Biboy Rivera.

It marked the first time the country made the podium in the Worlds since Rivera himself captured the World Championships in 2006 in Busan, South Korea.

“It means a lot to the team and the federation,” Rivera, who accompanied the team to the Middle East, told the Inquirer. “This will be a big help in getting support to fund our program for the years to come.”

He said the national team had a scheduled training camp in Sweden but it was scratched due to the pandemic. International exposure and foreign consultants, according to him, are what Team Philippines needs to get back on its feet.

“Now, it (training overseas) all depends on the budget and funds,” added Rivera.

Though the team hardly had enough preparation due to the spate of health restrictions, Rivera had predicted them to bring home a medal which could signify the country’s resurgence in the sport that it once dominated.

“We were positive [we would] perform and do our best despite our short preparation,” said Rivera. “Our mental and fitness training never stopped, although before the Worlds, we only had a few weeks to do actual training on the bowling lanes.”

The Philippines was beefed up by a young bunch of bowlers, some of whom were even competing in the big stage for the first time.

Snaring the bronze in men’s team were Kenneth Chua, Patrick Nuqui, Merwin Tan and Ian Dychangco. The women’s squad of Rachelle Leon, Mades Arles, Norelle Nuevo and Uella Marcial took the same honors in the distaff side. Jojo Canare coached the women’s side.

Before being appointed coach, Rivera had won several tournaments internationally. He wants the national team to mimic, or even surpass, his success.

“It’s still have a long way to go specially now that we are in this (pandemic) situation,” he said.

“But we will get there at the right time.”

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