Sarawak bowlers bag two golds, one bronze at Sportexcel-NSC-Milo-MTBC Junior Circuit

Sarawak ended their campaign in the Sportexcel-NSC-Milo-MTBC Junior Circuit grand final on a good note when they bagged two gold and one bronze medals. National youth bowler Lavinia Kho Jia Jie added another feather to her cap after she outbowled Piretisha Ravichandran of Negeri Sembilan 196-166 in the final. Earlier, Piretisha had beaten Nur Irdina Batrisya Mat Aris of MSN-Selangor (182) and Nur Ainul Hayat Ad Nor of Johor (154) by felling 245 pins. Lavinia, who went into the grand finals as the top ranked bowler in the East Malaysia Zone, had qualified for the final as the top ranked bowler with 2,549 pins, followed by Nur Irdina (2,505), Piretisha (2,477) and Nur Ainul (2,429). The other gold was won by Anathacia Gadding John Lon in the Girls U12 after she posted scores of 162-156 against top seed Mayra Khayeena Mohd Khairi of MMBC-Penang in the final. Anathacia went on to beat Mayra 166-149 in the repechage. Meanwhile, Gerald Ethan Tony finished third in the Boys U12 while Adriana Ramiza Ramulo was fourth in the Girls Graded. Head coach Angelo Koay summed up the performance of the state team as a great result but was quick to remind his bowlers not to rest on their laurels. “We still have our 2023 goals to achieve as we still have three more tournaments – Storm U22 All-Stars, Penang Pesta and GP Johor Youth Open to go before we draw 2023 to a close. “After just an okay performance in the Malaysian National and Interstates Bowling Championship early this month, we wanted to ensure the National Junior Circuit GP Finals was not just going to be an okay one again. “Taking a two-day break for recovery after returning from the Nationals, we had about two weeks to prepare,” he said. According to Koay, preparation included technical game – improving body-target alignment for better accuracy and consistency and tactical game – strike shooting as well as equipment lineup for the fresh and transitions. “To be honest, to prepare for all those components with only two weeks was really challenging. “Telling the athletes what to do is always easy, but making them understand to whole-heartedly believe in their decision making to make the shots, that was difficult. “Even so as difficult it may have been, it was essential if we were to have any joy to bring home from the GP Finals. “The success of the plan was evident in the results. We had 12 qualifiers – two in the Girls Under-12, two in the Boys Under-12, three in the Girls Graded, two in the Boys Graded, two in the Girls Open and one in the Boys Open. “From that we won two titles, one third place podium finish and three top eight finishes,” he added.