May 21, 2024

■  Ofelia C. Empian 

The Philippine darts team composed of top-rated darters including Benguet pride Giselle Bulahao topped the 18th Asia Darts Association (ADA) International Dart Tour 2024 last April 26 to 28 at the Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Center in Hong Kong.

Bulahao, the country’s top seeded lady darter, ruled the DartsOn Cup ladies singles while her tandem with Hall of Famer Jan-jan Hinojales clinched for them the ladies doubles championship. 

ASIA DARTS CHAMPION — Giselle Bulahao (left) of Tuba, Benguet was the single ladies champion of the 18th Asia Darts Association Dart Tour 2024 at the Kowloon Bay International Trade & Exhibition Center in Hong Kong while her trio with Jan-Jan Hinojales and Noel Malicdem won for them the Phoenix Darts Cup Triples 501 division. — Contributed photo

The lady darters also teamed up with former world championship qualifier Noel Malicdem to rule the Phoenix Darts Cup Triples 501 Division.

“It still feels surreal to be playing alongside the best Filipino darters and to represent the Philippines sa pinakaunang sabak ko sa soft tip darts,” Bulahao said in her second overseas tournament.

Last year, Bulahao has declined the invitation to join the 17th ADA tournament, as she is not accustomed to playing soft-tip darts and needed time to prepare for the competition.

Steel tip darts are designed to be used on a traditional bristle dart board, whereas soft tip darts are primarily used on plastic or electronic dart boards. The plastic dart boards have pre-molded holes to hold the soft tip darts. These darts are commonly used on electronic machines, which score automatically.

Hinojales also won the top gun ladies singles and emerged as the most valuable player in the ladies’ division, while top-ranked darter Alexis Toylo took home the men’s MVP plum for ruling both the single Mickey Mouse (division 1) and the top gun event, where he and teammate Paolo Nebrida battled in the finals of the latter. 

Nebrida, a two-time world championship qualifier, also ruled the DartsOn Cup men’s division.

The solid national team was led by eight-time world championship qualifier Lourence Ilagan who bagged the World Cup Series, men’s super-one. Ilagan teamed up with Hinojales to bag the title for the Philippines in the World Cup Series – the Super One Team.

All members of the super group placed as runners-up in their respective events.

The event was participated in by rated darters from host country Hong Kong, Philippines, Japan, Russia, Chinese Taipei, Macau, Mongolia, and Singapore.