KEN Wallis, by winning a bronze at the Commonwealth Games in Victoria, not only repaid the faith of Hong Kong selectors, but pierced the hopes of those, including some from among his brethren, who dearly wished to see him fall. The 51-year-old, an ex-Hong Kong soccer captain, was a man ostracised by most of his team members and the subject of behind-the-back jokes among some of the international bowlers, who ridiculed his selection as the territory's men's singles bowler ahead of Mark McMahon. Under a baking sun at the Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, Wallis delivered the punchline - and it did not matter that he was the only one laughing. Selectors chose Wallis on the fact that he is the Hong Kong national champion, though at the time, his detractors said that he, himself, was the voice of the selectors. Not everyone came out publicly and criticised his selection, but Wallis knew the feelings of resentment ran deep. So it was with this knowledge, and a silent, inner battle cry, that Wallis entered the Games. It mattered little to Wallis that several Hong Kong bowlers were not at the greens to see him confirm his bronze medal, he had proved enough. ''We all know what's been said,'' Wallis said. ''This is a perfect answer. I don't have to prove anything to anyone. ''I've just tried to concentrate on what I had to do. No one is automatically entitled to play in any position on the team. I was selected as singles player because I won the national championships.'' He found in his wife, Jenny, a member of the women's fours team, and team manager Bob Gartan, staunch supporters throughout a difficult 10 days. A hug of camaraderie with Gartan after his medal was confirmed seemed to symbolise the difficulties which both men had to overcome, Wallis in waging his lonely war, and Gartan, in trying to provide cohesion to an alarmingly factioned team. Gartan would not comment on the absence of some of the Hong Kong players on the last day of competition. But he said: ''I was upset at what was said by some of the players and the press before we came out here. In the end, Ken came away with a medal and proved he was up to it.'' Gartan hesitated when asked if Wallis' medal was a team achievement. ''In some ways, it has been a team effort. Personality clashes happen in a lot of other countries. Overall, we worked as a team.''