OKMALTA.COM Spring Tournament organized at by the MTBA

Friday, May 30, 2014, 16:52

May has seen the holding of the first ever OKMALTA.COM Spring Tournament, organized at by the MTBA and held at the Eden SuperBowl. While the original idea for this brand new event was to allow Malta’s top bowlers to stay competition-sharp in view of the upcoming Malta Open and National Championships, the final participant number of 38 athletes hugely exceeded all expectations.

The OKMALTA.COM Spring Tournament adopted a bowler handicap system, with male and female bowlers competing in one division over a very simple format; Round One consisting of six games for total pinfall, with the top eight qualifiers then going on to play in a 7-game Round Robin final, with extra bonus points for wins and draws, to raise the interest levels.


Round One: Strong performance from National Champion, Anastasi

Mauro Anastasi picked up his first title of National Champion in 2013, and was certainly deserving of his title during the six-game qualifying session. Bowling scratch, Anastasi started with a great 235 opening game, but then dropped to a 192 in game two. That would prove to be his low game of the day, as he roared back with an inspired 268 in game three, before banging in a fantastic 220-258-248 back three, to secure the top spot on 1421 (236.8 ave).

Philip Gruppetta went through in second place, starting the day with an enormous 277 game, staying 200+ through the next four and finishing with a 191, for a 1409 tally (1337 scratch). Third place was taken by Philippe Vancell who also opened well with a big 268, finishing on 1407 (1317 scr). The remaining five Round Robin spots went to Justin Caruana Scicluna (1385), Claude Camilleri (1324), Mark Spiteri (1273), Mark Muscat (1269) and Stephanie Said (1263).


Round Robin Final: Full points carry Vancell to victory

All Round One totals were set back to zero for the Round Robin final, which was a series of seven head-to-head encounters for all finalists, including bonus points of 20 for each match victory and 10 for a draw. While top seed Mauro Anastasi struggled with defeats in games 1 and 2, challengers Philip Gruppetta and Philippe Vancell both managed a brace of victories to claim those invaluable bonus points, as did Mark Spiteri. The latter then made it three in a row, as did Vancell while Gruppetta lost his third game.

Again, there were some very high scores right across the house, but it was Philippe Vancell who began to come into his own as things progressed and the bonuses kept coming as he won the fourth game, quickly followed by a fifth straight win to open up and 80-pin lead over nearest rival, Gruppetta while Anastasi trailed in third.

Philippe was totally in ‘the zone’ and forged on to stretch his winning streak to six games, and then made it a perfect seven in-a-row to finally clinch the title of OKMALTA.COM Spring Champion, with a final tally of 1812 including bonus points. His scratch total for the day was 1567 (223.8 ave). Second place went to late-comer Mark Muscat (1648) who shot a massive final four games (scratch 246-238-276-247) tom come from nowhere, while third place went to Day One leader Mauro Anastasi (1618) who also enjoyed a late rally. Gordon Gruppetta took fourth place with 1604 on the day.


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