Azkals mentor asserts AFC Cup preparations on track

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MANILA, Philippines—Philippine Azkals coach Michael Weiss believes preparations for the AFC Challenge Cup are on track following what he described as a successful camp in the Middle East.

“It’s mission more than accomplished,” Weiss said Sunday a day after the Azkals returned from Dubai.

The Azkals won one match against Qatar club Al Ahli and lost two to Australia’s Under-23 Olympic side as well as Uzbekistan in the camp.

“The camp was very, very good,” the German mentor said. “We put the base to a very successful campaign in Katmandu.”

Weiss revealed that their Challenge Cup foes India and Tajikistan have also stepped up their preparations.

India will play Oman and Azerbaijian in exhibition matches in Dubai late this month, while Tajikistan is slated to undergo training camp in Turkey.

For team manager Dan Palami, getting the best available side for the Challenge Cup remains the biggest challenge.

Palami noted that the arrival of Ray Jonsson in the last two matches greatly improved the Philippine side.

“When Ray arrived, everyone got to play in the right positions,” Palami said.

“I know if all the players we want are able to come for the Challenge Cup, the chances of a good result is multiplied,” Palami said. “I hope as we prepare for the ACC, the core of the team that trained in Gulf region improved.”

Sy sparks PH runner-up feat in Asian bowling
MANILA, Philippines—Eighteen-year-old Alexis Sy banked on an explosive performance in the step-ladder finals to capture the girls masters crown and lead the Philippines to a second overall finish in the recent 16th Asian Youth Tenpin Bowling Championships at the International Bowling Center in Nasr City in Cairo, Egypt.

Sy, the 2010 Philippine International Open youth girls masters champ, powered the PH campaign that also produced four silver medals and one bronze.

The TBAM-Prima kegler, top seed in the finals, defeated Son Hye-rin of Korea in a two-game total pinfalls title match, 493-389, for the crown. She went on lines of 247 and 246 to handily dispose of Son, who had 186-221.

Son made it to the title match after beating compatriot second seed Kang Su-jin, 258-254 in the short oil pattern chosen by the latter. But Son had a tough time dealing with the long oil pattern opted by Sy in the championship face-off.

Kenneth Chua had a chance to make it an all-Filipino masters but he bowed to Cho Tae-seung who dominated the tournament with four golds.

The third-seed Chua repelled second seed and All Events gold winner Hwang Dong-ju also of Korea, 220-207, over the short oil pattern. But Choi stamped his class on the Filipino on his chosen long oil pattern in the title match to prevail, 468-420.

The Korean boys swept all five gold medals with Choi bagging the opening singles event before pairing with Hwang to take the doubles top plum. They also bagged the four-player team gold. South Korea emerged overall champion with a total of nine golds, four silvers and six bronzes.

The Philippines wound up second overall with Janine Kuwahara (girls singles), Chua and Enzo Hernandez (boys doubles) and Sy, Kuwahara, Krizziah Tabora and Patricia Tajo (girls team) running away with silvers. Sy and Tajo also took home the bronze in girls doubles.

Sy finished second after the first block with 1737 effort.

She eventually made the step-ladder finals ahead of everybody when she won the first four matches in the second round. Marc Anthony Reyes

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