ASIAN Games gold medallist Alex Liew and Esther Cheah, a former world champion, will lead the men's and women's squads in the Asian Championships, on Sept 2-11, in Hong Kong.
Team manager Cheah Ban Cheng hopes the 12-member squad will do better than their achievement in the 2010 UAE edition of one gold and two silver.
"We are well-prepared to meet our target. The bowlers have been responding positively to the tournament's oiling patterns in training and I believe, they will make an impression," said Ban Cheng yesterday.
Former national champion Zulmazran Zulkifli, Adrian Ang, Syafiq Ridhwan Abdul Malek, Aaron Kong and Muhd Nur Aiman Khairuddin are the others in the six-member men's squad while the women's team also comprise world singles champion Jacqueline Sijore Jenelee, Shalin Zulkifli, Zandra Aziela Ibrahim Hakimi, Sin Li Jane and Siti Safiyah Amirah Abdul Rahman.
Siti Safiyah, the 2010 World Ranking Masters champion, edged Dayang Khairuniza Dhiyana in a special roll-off for the sixth spot.
National coach Holloway Cheah said the bowlers will need to be at their best in Hong Kong as he believes it will be a high-scoring tournament.
"There will be a lot of high scoring games as my bowlers were doing just that on the tournament's medium and short patterns.
"However, it does not make things any easier for us. Others will also be scoring high games and this is bad news as one needs to be consistent to win medals," said Cheah.
Defending champions South Korea, Australia, Kuwait, Japan, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia, Taiwan, Qatar, China and the Philippines are among the 23 competing teams.
"Korea are the favourites while Hong Kong, Kuwait and UAE could turn spoilers. Singapore, I heard, are sending a young team," said Cheah.
Korea, who won seven gold in the 2010 edition, are expected to challenge for all 12 gold at stake.
The national team, who broke camp on Friday for Hari Raya, will return to training on Tuesday for the final tune-up before leaving for Hong Kong on Sept 1.