The MBA Gold Cup is a prestigious tournament hosted by the Malta Bowling Association (MBA) that is eligible for all amateur bowlers with averages below 180 for males and 175 for females.
Excluding the elite bowlers through this eligibility clause, the Gold Cup has always been a showcase of the most respected bowlers and the best up-and-coming youths outside of Malta’s elite group.
The Gold Cup consisted of 12 games qualifying plus seven games during the finals.
The qualifying stage was done to settle which top eight bowlers from each gendered category should qualify for the final stage.
The final stage consisted of a Round Robin format where all top eight players played against each other one-on-one.
For the females, senior bowler Liliana Spiteri led all women after the 12 games played during qualifying and then remained in first place during the final stages after bowling an average of 175 throughout the Round Robin.
Spiteri also won six out of seven one-on-ones against the other female finalists.
For the males, Julian Baldacchino qualified for the finals in second place after averaging a stellar 195 during the qualifying stage.
The two-handed teenager then won four out of seven one-on-ones while bowling an impressive 190 average during the round robin to leapfrog former leader and eventual runner-up Chris Fenech for the tournament victory.
Both of this year’s Gold Cup champions, Spiteri and Baldacchino, claimed their first official MBA-sanctioned tournament victory this past weekend through their respected performances.
The runners-up were Chris Fenech and Special Olympics bowler Rachel Chircop. Third-placed bowlers were youths Damian Pisani and Karlise Bartolo.