THE FINAL PIECE: An Asian Championships doubles gong will complete his collection
ALEX Liew will likely strike his last ball at the 2014 Incheon Asian Games but before doing so, the veteran hopes to complete a collection of medals in the doubles.
The 36-year-old has won doubles medals at the Asian Games, Sea Games and World Championships but never in the Asian Championships.
As age is not on his side, Alex will be extra motivated to end his wait at the 2012 edition which starts in Hong Kong on Tuesday.
Alex, a two-time Asian No 1, has been at the forefront since leading Malaysia to the team silver at the 2006 Men's World Championships in Busan.
Four years later, he partnered Muhd Nur Aiman Khairuddin for the World Championships doubles silver in Germany.
His most cherished moment, one which led him to postpone his retirement then, was when he won two titles (doubles with Adrian Ang and all-events) at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games.
The Alex-Adrian combination also clinched gold at last year's Indonesia Sea Games, which subsequently helped Malaysia win the overall title.
Alex believes his team, who have been together for three years, will make a huge impact and also dethrone South Korea at the Asian meet.
"We, as a team, have been bowling quite consistently since the Asian Games. I believe we have what it takes to pose a serious threat to Korea," said Alex recently.
"We dominated last year's Sea Games with four titles, so naturally our next aim is to do the same at the Asian meet. Our main target is the team gold."
Adrian, Zulmazran Zulkifli, Aaron Kong, Syafiq Ridhwan and Muhd Nur Aiman are the other members of the teamwhich left for Hong Kong yesterday.
Alex, however, also hopes to make an impression in the doubles.
"I have been winning medals in doubles quite consistently but never at the Asian meet.
"It is one medal that is still missing from my trophy cabinet.
"Our coach (Holloway Cheah) will decide our respective partners after the singles. The best two performers in the singles will be paired for the doubles," said Alex.
Malaysia have not won an Asian Championships medal in doubles since the silver earned by Azidi Ameran and Ben Heng at the 2002 edition, also in Hong Kong.
Besides Korea, Alex singled out several Middle East teams as the main contenders in the men's event.
"UAE, Kuwait and Qatar have good individual bowlers while the Philippines, Indonesia and Singapore could upset the form book," he said.
On his retirement plans, Alex said he will continue until the 2014 Asian Games before thinking about quitting.
"I will continue bowling as long I can but if I fail to make the grade in Incheon, then I may retire," he added.
The 12-member men's and women's teams will practice at the venue in Kowloon Bay at least four times before the tournament starts with the singles on Tuesday.