SINGAPORE- By capturing the Men's Open Masters title, he also stepped out of the shadow of fellow teens Keith Saw, 19, the men's singles winner at last year's Asian Tenpin Bowling Championship, and Javier Tan, 18, who won a silver and a team gold in February's Commonwealth Tenpin Bowling Championships.
The fine back-to-back performances have Joel feeling that he is now ready for the big time.
He said: "Even though it's my first time reaching the step-ladder finals of the Singapore National Championships, I felt prepared.
"Previously, I'd stress myself out by thinking too much but, this time, I wasn't taken aback or anything. After my experiences at last month's World Cup, I knew I could win."
At last month's QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup in Siberia, he bowled his first perfect game (300 pinfalls), en route to finishing 19th in a field of 74 participants on his maiden appearance.
Up against older and more experienced bowlers, the Republic Polytechnic student had the luxury of competing without lofty expectations, allowing him to focus on his technique and execution.
He said: "At the World Cup, I adopted a different strategy, choosing instead to focus on my technique and the overall process. It worked wonders for me."
He put the World Cup experience to good use at last week's national championships, qualifying for the step-ladder finals in second place with 2,665 pinfalls.
In the finals, he beat 18-year-old Muhd Jaris Goh (212-169) and 20-year-old Ng Chiew Pang (180-174, 232-192), winning the title without dropping a game.
Next up for the 2010 Singapore Open Under-18 champion would be fighting for a place in the 2014 Asian Games squad. Said Joel, who is nursing a sore thumb from hi recent exploits: "With the experience of the past month under my belt, I'm more confident.
"I know I'm on a roll but I not going to let this get to my head."
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