Kent takes second at World Cup

ARLINGTON, Texas – Team USA’s Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., reached the title match while teammate Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., finished fourth as the 48th QubicaAMF World Cup concluded Saturday in Wroclaw, Poland.

Kent, who took the men’s division lead on Wednesday, maintained his advantage during Saturday morning’s match play to earn the top seed in the three-person stepladder finals. In the title match, Kent faced Malaysia’s Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek.

Kent started the first game of the best-of-three finals with five consecutive strikes, but Malek stayed close. When Kent had an open frame in the 10th, leaving the 4-6-7 on his first shot, Malek took advantage for a 236-225 victory.

In a back-and-forth Game 2, Kent started with four strikes but failed to convert the 2-4-8 in the eighth. Malek, after opening with two spares, strung together five strikes and pulled away for a 237-221 victory to capture the title.

“Unfortunately, the top-seed curse got to me,” Kent said. “I led the tournament but ended up second. It was still a solid week overall and was still a good week of bowling. Hopefully, one day I will be able to earn the spot again to bowl the World Cup and win the Cup for the USA.”

Kent started match play on Saturday morning by going 0-3. He then won his next five matches to post an 8,339 pinfall total beat Colombia’s Andres Gomez by 78 pins for the top seed in the stepladder finals. Malek, meanwhile, had to win his final match in match play to claim the final spot in the stepladder finals.

Against Gomez in the semifinals, Malek lost the opening game by two pins but won the final two games by scores of 224-201 and 258-213 to set up the title match against Kent.

In the women’s division, McEwan entered Saturday morning’s match play in fifth place looking to post wins to earn the 30-pin bonus available in each match and possibly climb into the stepladder finals. Despite a solid performance, McEwan went 3-5 in match play and finished with an 8,158 pinfall total, 286 pins out of third place.

“I started off really well and had some really good games but didn’t have luck on my side,” said McEwan. “I lost my first match shooting 258 and that kind of continued. I know I had a couple of matches I shot 230s, 240s and ended up losing. So those extra bonus pins I needed didn’t add up.

“I think I bowled well today. I have to walk away with my head held high and use this as a learning experience. It was a fun week and I learned a lot.”

Two-time defending champion Aumi Guerra of the Dominican Republic took the top seed for the stepladder finals with an 8,457 pinfall total followed by England’s Kirsten Penny (8,445) and Singapore’s Shayna Ng (8,444).

Ng swept Penny, 2-0, in the semifinals. In the title match, Guerra took a 269-224 victory in Game 1 but Ng came back in Game 2 to win 267-259 and force a deciding game. Ng won the title with a 247-169 victory.

Kent and McEwan won their respective divisions at the USBC Team USA Trials last January to earn the opportunity to compete in the World Cup, one of the most prestigious singles titles in the world. The World Cup is the largest international bowling tournament in the world, in terms of the number of countries competing. This year’s event started with 81 men and 68 women from more than 80 countries.

48th QubicaAMF World Cup
At Wroclaw, Poland
Saturday’s stepladder finals

Men’s division
Semifinal: Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek, Malaysia, def. Andres Gomez, Colombia, 2-1 (234-236, 224-201, 258-213).
Final: Malek def. Marshall Kent, United States, 2-0 (236-225, 237-221).

Women’s division
Semifinal: Shayna Ng, Singapore def. Kirsten Penny, 2-0 (246-215, 231-191).

Final: Ng def. Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic, 2-1 (224-269, 267-259, 247-169).