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Nepomuceno wins World Cup Sportsman Award

Filipino bowling legend Paeng Nepomuceno is not done winning accolades. Already an owner of 118 bowling titles and awards collected since 1972, the 52-year-old Nepomuceno received another one - the Sportsman Award of the recent 45th Qubica AMF Bowling World Cup in Melaka, Malaysia where he also came up with a strong showing.
Filipino bowling legend Paeng Nepomuceno displays his Sportsman Award with fellow awardee Belinda Tan of New Zealand during the victory banquet of the 45th Qubica AMF Bowling World Cup recently in Melaka, Malaysia. Photo courtesy of Paeng Nepomuceno
Nepomuceno, winner of the World Cup a record four times (1976, 1980, 1992 and 1996), was voted to the award by no less than his peers in the prestigious tournament that featured 154 players from 89 countries. He shared the limelight with Belinda Tan of New Zealand, who was named Sportswoman of the tourney, and the champions of the Melaka World Cup, Choi Yong-Kyu of Korea and Caroline Lagrange of Canada, during the event’s victory banquet last Thursday. “The Bowling World Cup is an amazing bowling experience, and it’s not just about winning the title. Towards the end of the tournament, all the bowlers vote for the sportsman and sportswoman of the tournament and this is a highly coveted title," World Cup officials said about the award. 1st Filipino awardee Making it even more special for Nepomuceno was the fact that it was the first time in 45 years that a bowler from the Philippines won the plum. Nepomuceno, who logged a high average of 206.67 in 24 games but missed the quarterfinal round of the Melaka World Cup by just three pins, said he’s “pleasantly surprised" to receive this accolade. The World Cup Sportsman award is just the latest in the soft-spoken bowler’s room-size trophy collection. No less than the top international sports bodies have already recognized Nepomuceno’s feats with the International Olympic Committee giving him the IOC President’s Trophy and the International Bowling Federation (FIQ) naming him the “International Bowler of the Millennium" in 1999. An inductee to the International Bowling Hall of Fame in St. Louis, Missouri, Nepomuceno has also been feted by the Philippine government three times with the late President Ferdinand Marcos giving him the Presidential Medal of Merit, former President Joseph Estrada awarding him the Presidential Legion of Honor and current President Gloria Arroyo bestowing him the Order of Lakandula with Class of Champion for Life. Nepomuceno’s efforts have likewise earned him a place in the Guinness Book of Records for three items: for the most World Cup wins, for being the youngest ever to win the World Cup at 19, and for having won the most number of bowling tournaments. In spite of all these achievements, Nepomuceno maintains his competitive fire on the lanes to this day, as exemplified by his strong showing in the 2009 World Cup, and his pleasant personality off the bowling center, as validated by the Sportsman award he received from his competitors. - GMANews.TV