Silver lining, but coach Remy wants more from Asian Games bowlers
There were plenty of high-fives from Singapore's Cherie Tan, New Hui Fen and Jazreel Tan at the women's trios event at the Anyang Hogye Gymnasium yesterday.
Their fiery-eyed emphatic slaps could be heard from behind the spectator stands, matched by their blazing form on the lanes, as they recovered from sixth spot to clinch the silver medal with 3,753 pinfalls.
They were sandwiched between two South Korean teams in first and third spots.
Lee Na Young, Jung Da Wun and Son Yun Hee won the gold with 3,896, while Lee Yeong Seung, Jeon Eun Hee and Kim Jin Sun (3,692) took bronze.
Singapore's other threesome - Daphne Tan, Joey Yeo and Shayna Ng - fell from second spot on day one to finish seventh with 3,041 pinfalls.
Despite the silver lining, national coach Remy Ong believes that he can coax more from his charges.
"I'm happy with the way we bowled today, but I'm not a very easily satisfied person - there's something which hasn't arrived yet," he said.
"We're still lacking - this isn't the colour we're looking for," added Ong, as the bowlers go in search of that elusive gold medal.
The bowlers bounced back from a medalless showing in the doubles, winning their second silver of the Asian Games to add to Jazreel's from the singles.
While the search for gold continues, Ong believes the signs are positive.
"We were more aggressive today than we were in the last two days. When you're in an unstable state of mind, sometimes you need a reminder," he said, of their placid doubles performance. "You can see that the energy is different."
And he was right. The high-energy high-fives were infectious.
Whoops of joy erupted on one side of the arena yesterday and, within seconds, a replica followed, like an echo.
Scream. Pause. Scream.
With just 10 red-clad supporters in the stands, the Singaporeans matched the volume of an entire block of home fans backing the Koreans.
"When I blasted them that night (after the doubles), it was not because they did badly... but because I didn't recognise my team," said Singapore Bowling Federation president and chef de mission Jessie Phua.
"I'm glad they responded well. I got my team back yesterday... and this is the turn of tide that we needed."
The tide is turning, but the team are not yet in full swing.
Slow to start in the singles and still unable to find form, 2012 World Cup champion Shayna Ng has yet to hit full throttle. And she knows it.
While the team posed for pictures with their supporters after the event, Ng was nowhere to be seen, reappearing only later after being hunted down by an official.
Her return to form could be the final piece of the jigsaw to inspire Singapore to gold over these two days, in the five-woman team event.
Ong firmly believes Ng will come good.
"Shayna looks better (in the trios), but so far she hasn't performed, but we can't just shut her out," he said.
"She's a champion, and she knows what it takes to win."
"It is a world-class field that's here and, very often, very little separates them," said Phua, who hopes that her women's impassioned high-fives don't turn placid today.
"In the end, it'll boil down to who's hungrier."