Vintage Paeng grabs eighth Open crown
MANILA—Like wine, six-time world champion Paeng Nepomuceno gets better with age.
Now 54, the left-handed Nepomuceno whipped former world champion Biboy Rivera, 195-184, despite a split in the last frame Sunday to capture his eighth Philippine Open International bowling crown at Midtown Bowl in Robinson’s Ermita.
“I feel good that at my age, I can still manage to keep up with younger bowlers,” said Nepomuceno, after emerging as the oldest winner of the country’s most prestigious championship.
He also holds the distinction of being the youngest national titlist, having won in 1974 at age 17.
The 6-foot-1 Nepomuceno, also the unprecedented winner of four World Cup titles, dedicated the victory to his late father-coach Angel, who marked his birthday a day before the finals.
“I know he helped me win again,” Paeng said.
Nepomuceno finished fifth after eight games in the eliminations with 1724 pins, behind Chester King (1796), Sammy Say Sy (1746), Rivera (1734), United Arab Emirate’s Hussain al-Suwaidi (1728) but ahead of Jeff Chan (1724), Jeff Carabeo (1701) and 2008 titlist Benshir Layoso (1686).
But Paeng knocked out Asian ranking champion al-Suwaidi, 249-213, in the quarterfinals, and then hurdled Layoso, 226-189, to set up a title showdown with Rivera, who beat Chan, 213-206, and Carabeo, 227-171.
Nepomuceno owns three records in the Guinness Book of World Records—the only bowler to win three World Cups in three separate decades (‘70s, ‘80s and ‘90s), youngest World Cup champ at 19 and holder of the most career wins of 118 (now 123).
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