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Patrick Neil more than half a millionaire

  • Written by Lito Cinco
  • Published in Opinion
  • Read: 265

AT the young age of 15, this DeLa Salle Greenhills 10th grader has already reached the status of being more than half a millionaire.

And it did not fall from the heavens but he earned it and in the end, had to slug it out with an older opponent four times his age in the final game, I am referring to Patrick Neil Nuqui who emerged  as Classifeid Masters Champion at the recently-concluded SM Bowling Millionaire’s Cup at Megamall where he received a cool  P600,000 cash prize for his effort.
   
Ironically, his opponent, Bien Lozada, a 61-year-old senior bowler, the first ever senior  citizen champion in  the short history of the tournament ended up as Open Division champion and collected a total of P1,350,000, a cool P1M as the champion’s  prize and the rest as runner up to Nuqui, unfortunately, when I attended  the last PSA Forum at   Shakey’s Malate, it was only Nuqui who was there accompanied by SM Leisure & Entertainment  head and former world bowling champion CJ Suarez.
   
Since I was early, I got  a chance to talk to the boy who was with his mother, Maritess, and younger sister Alexandra who is a bowler herself and  idolizes her “kuya “ even as it  is her dream to eventually beat him in this sport, though not now said Patrick who is averaging already 181 pins per game to his sister’s 120.
   
Patrick, who admitted he  joined the tournament  without any  thought at  all that he could win, he made it to the top 45 then  the top 24 after the nine-legged series and even as he entered the top eight, he was sure he would lose to opponent Roman Rizale as  he saw the older  man playing a good game,  and surprised everybody  by beating Rizale by a wide margin, setting him up for his semifinals match against  a female opponent Joyce Abad, whom he beat by a comfortable margin too.
   
Both the mother and the son could not remember the score , the mother saying  the family was not minding  the  scores at all but  focused more on how  Patrick was playing and really was not expecting the boy to win, but he did.
   
In the finals, it finally dawned on Patrick, who plays  under the Pasig Bowling Association, one of his sponsors together with E Lanes, and Florence Lim,  that he could win  the match believing that Lozada who was playing in both divisions, was tiring already.  In the two game finals, he edged out Lozada 202-199, then came up with a big game in the second match, winning 240 - 198  that gave him thousands of reasons to be happy.
   
Like  a lot of bowlers, Patrick idolizes bowling legend Paeng Nepomuceno and   dreams of following  his path, in fact  with his winnings, after giving “balato” to his sister, he  plans to use the money  for his training, including   joining his first  international tournament  next year in Malaysia but candidly  said  he  is not ready yet   for a national team stint, in the same breath that he said give ten years  more and he  can win a world championship  title already.
   
Presently, the boy is coached by Manoy Sayon and former national player Purvis Granger whose faith in their ward was rewarded.
   
On his part CJ  said Patrick’s victory augurs well for  the sport, sharing his thought that the boy can serve as a role model for  other young people to get into bowling, CJ admitted that the number of people playing competitive bowling  is  growing smaller as it is difficult to convince recreational bowlers to level up to being competitive ones.
   
That was the reason why he chose to bring Patrick to the PSA Forum instead of the Open Champion, but  CJ sure has  a point, after all, this young champion already earned something that other kids his age can only dream of, CJ also shared SM’s plans of actively promoting the sport in schools next year,  saying  the need really is get  kids into the sport  as early as possible.
   
And football  seems to be on the same direction as  in the same forum there were two young football players accompanied by former Azkal skipper Chieffy Caligdong, the two  were two of the six  lucky  kids who will be going to Barcelona, Spain  on December together with other kids from Singapore and Malaysia, this after  they  were sent to a qualifying football camp in Malaysia earlier.
   
They were chosen earlier from those who joined Globe’s Football Para Sa Bayan, a talent identification program sponsored by Globe nationwide with Chieffy as implementor. For lack of space, I just would like to acknowledge  these six young kids, Lance Lawrence Locsin, Jared Alexander Pena, Ryan Philip Johansson, Astrid heiress Ignacio, Mikaela Jacqueline Villacin, and Jasmine Cassandra Agustin.
   
They will join the 12-day Astro Kem Bola overseas Training Program in Spain.
   
That is what  you call starting them young.