De Guzman, Lourdes FEDBG Bowlers of 2012

Updated 19 December 2012
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De Guzman, Lourdes FEDBG Bowlers of 2012

Robert de Guzman protected his lead and won a battle for survival to secure the men’s division title while May Lourdes recovered well after a slow start to seal the ladies crown with three outstanding sets as they emerged Bowlers of 2012 at the conclusion of a grueling year-round quest for the most prestigious accolade of the Filipino Expatriate Damayan Bowling Group at the Bowling City here.
De Guzman was actually among those at the bottom during the crunch match wherein Marcelo Manalo and Melvin Lising qualified for finals on 936 and 852 among the monthly champions and Ronnie de Castro on 861 from the class periodic winners. But a long awaited opportunity for a shot at the title caused an adrenaline rush for De Guzman that saw him finish the semifinals at the top on 887, well in front of Jay Bengco and Abdulfatta Mogawan with 878 and 845 respectively. Richard Antonio missed the cut on 828.
Bowling along with the seeded finalists, Ge Guzman stayed in contention while keeping first place on 220 with Mogawan and Lising trailing on 199 and 191.
With the finalists rolling at average de Guzman upheld the lead at 399 as Mogawan close behind on 393 and top favorite Manalo within striking distance at 370.
But then de Guzman widened the gap at 612 after a 213 with Mogawan the closest pursuer on 562, and the eventual winner kept his nerve in light of a Lising rally and consistent display from veteran Mogawan.
After briefly succumbing to pressure De Guzman managed to stay afloat with 175 to save the most coveted men’s Bowler of the Year title on 4-game series with handicap of 787. Mogawan finished second on 758, Lising with a 206 blitz ranked third on 753 while Manalo, Bengco and de Castro claimed the last three prizes on 737, 728 and 722 in that order.
On the ladies division, Lourdes started slow with 166 to be behind early leader Malou Gime (180). Mariz Resano, Grace Funtilon and Aileen Miralbuna took off on 161, 158, 152. Lourdes hit 210 in the next game to seize top spot on 376 with Gime sliding to second on 367.
Lourdes never looked back hitting 221 and 202 in her last two games to earn the ladies Bowler of the Year cron with a total of 799.
Funtilon beat Gime by one pin for second place 714-713 while Miralbuna and Resano claimed fourth and fifth places.
This FEDBG Bowler of the Year quest was supported by L’ Occitane through Eva Garcia.


Mohamed Salah threatens Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d’Or stranglehold

Updated 36 min 38 sec ago
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Mohamed Salah threatens Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo Ballon d’Or stranglehold

  • Messi and Ronaldo have won the award for the past ten years
  • Salah has emerged as a genuine rival after scoring 43 goals this season

LIVERPOOL: Mohamed Salah could be the man to finally break the Ronaldo-Messi duopoly at the top of world football after the Liverpool forward burnished his soaring reputation with a mesmerising Champions League performance against Roma.
Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona’s Lionel Messi have locked down the Ballon d’Or award for a decade, winning five gongs apiece — for the past seven years they have occupied the top two slots.
But Salah is now second favorite behind Ronaldo for this year’s award after scoring his 42nd and 43rd goals of the season in a thrilling 5-2 victory for Liverpool in the Champions League semifinal first leg.
After his first strike against his former club on Tuesday, the man dubbed by fans as the “Egyptian King” stood motionless, hands raised in apology, as bedlam broke out on a night for the ages at Anfield.
Salah’s curling effort arrowed into the top corner with such accuracy his manager Jurgen Klopp labelled it “a genius strike.”
Soon after came the forward’s signature finish, a cute dink over advancing Roma goalkeeper Alisson for his 43rd goal in 47 games for Liverpool.
When Salah, 25, made the move from the Italian capital back to the Premier League just 10 months ago for €42 million ($51 million), there were plenty who felt Roma had got the better deal. Salah after all was a talented player, but who often lacked an end product.
It also came just a few weeks before Neymar’s move from Barcelona to Paris Saint-Germain for a world record €222 million revolutionized the transfer market.
The Brazilian’s desire to leave the Catalan giants was tied to his ambition to beat Messi and Ronaldo to the Ballon d’Or by stepping out of Messi’s shadow.
Now, though, it is Salah who has emerged as the pretender to end the Messi-Ronaldo domination by not only scoring the quantity of goals that have become the pair’s trademark but doing it when it really matters, in the latter stages of the Champions League.
“If you think he is the best in the world, write it or say it,” urged Klopp, who has been credited with bringing out Salah’s previously untapped potential.
“To be the best in the world you need to do that over a longer period I think, and there are a few others that are not so bad.”
Heavily left-footed, small, speedy and with a low center of gravity, Salah’s characteristics are far more like those of Messi than the muscular goal-machine Ronaldo.
“In a certain light, at certain points, it is possible to glimpse in Salah a little of Messi’s afterglow,” wrote Rory Smith in the New York Times.
And he demonstrated another Messi-like quality in showing no mercy to Roma.
Chasing his first hat-trick in the Champions League, Salah would have been forgiven for going for goal as he bore down on Alisson once more after half-time.
But he showed why he is considered one of the game’s more unselfish superstars by instead creating another two goals for strike partners Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino.
When Salah left the field to a standing ovation 15 minutes from time, Liverpool led 5-0.
“Unstoppable (when Salah’s on the pitch),” said the back page of The Times.
Two late Roma away goals have at least given the Italians hope of recreating the incredible comeback they staged from a 4-1 first-leg deficit against Barca in the quarter-finals.
For once it is Salah’s turn to lead the way where Messi faltered on his return to the Eternal City next week.
Messi is almost certain to win a La Liga and Copa del Rey double and Ronaldo could lead Real Madrid to a third consecutive Champions League after another bucketload of goals this season.
But Salah is the coming man and after bagging the African and English players’ player of the year crowns, it is hard to back against him also conquering the world.