For about a week ending Oct. 1, a combined 40 adult and youth Kaua‘i bowlers were able to “Hang with the Tangs” through a series of workshops and bowling clinics where the honorary coaches were brothers and professional bowlers on the PBA Tour, Darren and Michael Tang.
Todd Ozaki, an assistant coach with the Waimea High School bowling program and a leader with the youth bowling program, said Darren is a representative for the Storm bowling company, and Michael represents RotoGrip. Both pro bowlers are successful and extremely popular on social media.
“We want to give big thank yous to Darren and Michael’s mom, Tracie Tang, who helped me put this week together,” Ozaki said.
“The Tangs arrived on Sept. 25th and were greeted by about 30 Kaua‘i junior bowlers and parents at the baggage claim with lei and handmade welcome signs. Starstruck bowlers anxiously awaited the Tangs to walk through the electric double doors at the Lihu‘e Airport. Then, the circus started.”
Clinics for both adults and youth consisted of a 30-minute question-and-answer period followed by two hours of on-lane instruction with a lot of time allowed for taking pictures and getting autographs on jerseys, bowling equipment and, in some cases, on faces, Ozaki said.
An exhibition match, The Tang Bang, was organized where five qualifying doubles teams from the island went up against the professionals in a three-game Baker Qualifier where partners contribute to the same score, alternating following each frame.
The top three teams advanced to a one-game Baker stepladder match where the top seeds received byes to the final.
During the qualifying rounds, the team of Curtis Matsumura and Todd Ozaki earned the bye, rolling 759, or a 253 average.
Second place belonged to the Tang brothers, who rolled a 679, or 226 average. The third-place finish belonged to Kevin Pongasi and Kyrin Sasaki, who rolled a 632, 211 average. Fourth place went to the youth boys team of AJ Juliano and Trestyn Reis (both recognizable as Kaua‘i Interscholastic Federation rollers), who posted a 583, 194 average. Fifth place went to the youth girls team of Jennifer Hayakawa and Skye Tadani, both high rollers for the Kapa‘a High girls team, who finished by rolling a 557, 185 average. Alicia Hayakawa, Jennifer’s older sister and a chef at Kelley’s Kitchen in Kaua‘i Bowl, and Michael Sukehira finished sixth at 443, 147 average.
On the stepladder, the Tangs got past the Pongasi/Sasaki duo by rolling a 266 over the challengers’ 211. Advancing to the final, the Tangs prevailed over Matsumura/Ozaki by rolling a 232 over the Kaua‘i pair’s 192.
“It was so fun, not only to bowl against the Tangs, but to see such a large crowd of adults and youth out in support, raising homemade signs and cheering for all the competitors,” Ozaki said.
“The trophies were made and engraved by LilyPod Designs. We want to send out thank yous to all the participants, competitors and supporters, including Adam Apo and the staff at Kaua‘i Bowl, Chad Pojas from Hawai‘i Bowlers Tour, lei makers Mari, Maile, and Susan Yamamoto, fishers Curtis Matsumura, Darryl Izumo, Kevin Pongasi and Doreen and Chris Tamura and, of course, Darren and Michael — great guys and true ambassadors.”
Dennis Fujimoto, staff writer and photographer, can be reached at 808-245-0453 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Source: The Garden Island