236: The Score that Started It All for Bowling World Cup Champion Krizziah Lyn Tabora
There are victories and then there those victories with a capital letter V or the ones that offer audiences a good show! Filipino bowler Krizziah Lyn Tabora, in her quest to bag the Bowling World Cup title in Hermosillo, Mexico last weekend, gave us the latter. Not only did she crush title holders from other countries, Tabora ended the country’s 14-year title drought and reminded the world that the Philippines still produces superb bowlers.
Epic Finish in Mexico
That she’s difficult to read may have been what the commentators at the 53rd QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup (BWC) had to say about Filipino bowler Krizziah Lyn Tabora. But there was no denying that behind her expressionless face was an inextinguishable fire focused on bagging the title.
When Tabora was fighting for a place at the semi-finals (top 4), she had the most match wins – six out of eight. This, partnered with a 237.75 average, allowed her to join Jenny Wegner of Sweden, Rocio Restrepo of Colombia and Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman of Malaysia to proceed to the next round. But before doing so, it seemed that the Filipina made a vow not to be beaten again by bowlers Restrepo and Siti.
In her semi-final match with the Colombian, Tabora bowled a string of 6 strikes from the 3rd to the 8th frame which resulted to impressive clean game of 249 against Restrepo’s good yet not enough to win score of 222.
And, during the title match, our subject answered her 10-pin miss on the 4th frame with a five bagger, which caused her to defeat Malaysia’s Siti by a landslide 236-191.
Love at First Bowl
While Tabora’s path to victory seemed to only really actualize during the latter days of 53rd QubicaAMF BWC tournament (Sweden’s Wegner was expected to win for she had been topping the women’s list during the qualifying rounds), her journey to success began when she was just 13 – back when she bowled only with house shoes and a house ball.
According to the 27-year-old champion, it was her dad, a league bowler, who introduced her to the sport. She shares, “Bata pa lang ako sinasama-sama na ako sa bowling center with my kuya. Nag-aarcade lang kami noong una. Tapos, nag-decide yung daddy ko na paturuan ang kuya ko mag-bowling. Nainggit ako doon pero since hindi kaya ng budget, kuya ko nalang pinaturuan.”
Tabora, however, was determined to prove that she also deserved lessons. She would roll the house ball on the floor until her dad finally gave in and allowed her to play one game to see her potential. “One-on-one kami naglaro noon at nagscore ako ng 236!” she laughs as she looked back at her early days. “Kaya pinaturuan kaagad niya ako kay Art Oberio, then Mon Camba, then Bonnie Solis, and then, ayun kay Purvis na.”
And the rest is history! After learning more about the game, she competed in local tournaments, and soon found herself on international soil playing the sport she fell in love with.
“Daddy ko talaga ang sobrang nagpush sakin na sumali sa mga tournaments, lalo na sa national team,” she notes. But it was in 2007, during the 10th Asian Schools Tenpin Bowling Championship in Hong Kong, where she won 2nd Runner-up in the team event that her outlook about the sport really changed. “Sa Asian Schools ko naumpisahan mahalin yung part na nirerepresent ko ang Pilipinas!”
Keeping the Love Alive
Since 2007, Tabora has let her love for bowling and representing her country take control her life. Aside from not being able to join family gatherings in order to train, as a junior bowler, she prioritized her sport over her studies; and as a young professional, she put her work as the financial manager of their family business on hold in order to work on this year’s string of international tournaments: SEA Games, Asian Indoor Games, the BWC and the upcoming 2017 World Championships in Las Vegas.
“Napahaba ang leave ko, so naging driver nalang ako ng pamangkin ko every morning before training,” expresses Tabora. Her sacrifices paid off, however, for prior to bagging the BWC title, she won bronze and silver with the RP women’s team in the SEA Games and Asian Indoor Games respectively.
Despite these victories, Tabora confesses that bowling for her doesn’t get any easier. When asked about the most challenging aspect of the sport, she replies, “Fudge! Ang hirap! Yung game mismo yung challenging e! Dati kasi, feeling ko ang saya lang maglaro. Kaso habang tumatagal, parang ang complicated pala at ang daming kailangang i-consider.”
The champion adds that there were times in the past when she’d feel unmotivated to continue competing. And, what saved her from these down moments were other people. “Ang parents ko yung reason kung bakit gusto ko maglaro dahil sa bowling ko sila sobrang napapasaya,” she says. “Then, hindi ko namamalayan pati ibang tao napapasaya ko na rin sa pagbobowling ko kaya, lahat ng sumusuporta sakin ang nagpapamotivate sakin.”
The BWC Title may have been Tabora’s long-term goal; but today, she considers it to only be the beginning not just for herself, but for her fellow-bowlers as well. “Sana maging malaking tulong to para makilala at bigyang importance ulit ang bowling sa Pilipinas,” she quips. “Gusto kong makatulong mabuhay ulit ang bowling sa atin and ma-encourage ulit ang mga tao maglaro kasi maraming nasasayang na talents.”
During Tabora’s homecoming last 14 November (Tuesday), she was met by former Bowling World Cup Champions Paeng Nepomuceno (1976, 1980, 1992, 1996) and Bong Coo (1979, FIQ/WTBA 1979, 1983) and WTBA World Tenpin Bowling Masters Champion Biboy Rivera (2006) at the NAIA airport and was escorted to Manila Polo Club for a special reception and press conference.
Paeng and Coo, as well as Lita Dela Rosa who won this prestigious tournament in 1978, bagged more world titles after their first Bowling World Cup wins and are now part of the World Bowling Hall of Fame in Arlington, Texas, USA.
Tabora is the 5th Filipino to win the BWC title. CJ Suarez won the title 14 years ago in Tegucigalpa, Honduras. He, together with Jojo Canare, who now coaches the RP women’s team, also took home the Bent Petersen Trophy for Best Country Performance in 2003.
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