PBA Spare Shots: Jason Belmonte Leads Qualifiers for 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational

by Bill Vint December 1, 2017 09:11

The PBA Tour’s top 10 players in 2017 earnings based upon events open to all players have been finalized, and those players – plus defending champion EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind. – have been invited to participate in the 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational Jan. 26-28 at Tokyo Port Bowl.

Earning invitations are: Jason Belmonte, Australia; Jesper Svensson, Sweden; Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash.; Rhino Page, Orlando, Fla.; Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y.; Anthony Simonsen, Austin, Texas; Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.; Yannaphon Larpapharat, Thailand; Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., and Dom Barrett, England.

If any of the invitees is unable to attend, the “alternate” list is headed by Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., and Francois Lavoie, Canada.

In addition to the 11 players from the earnings list, the international field also will include three PBA members, one woman and one Korean PBA player invited by tournament sponsor DHC. Those players will be announced as soon as they have confirmed their intent to participate.

The tournament itself will feature a new format, beginning with the invited field and 32 Japanese players (a starting field of 48) bowling two six-game qualifying rounds on Saturday, Jan. 27 to cut the field to the top 16 for 16 games of head-to-head match play on Sunday. The top five after 28 games will advance to the stepladder finals on Sunday beginning at 5 p.m. Japan Standard Time (3 a.m. EST).

The entire DHC PBA Japan Invitational, which will pay the winner US$45,000, will be live streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel (visit xtraframe.tv for subscription information).

PBA BOWLING CHALLENGE MOBILE GAME TO UNVEIL NEW “PBA LEAGUE VENUES”

Concrete Software’s wildly-popular PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, which has been downloaded to more than 19 million mobile devices since its introduction, is adding another new element to capture the excitement of the PBA League program that has taken on a life of its own at its new “home” at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

The PBA Bowling Challenge game has offered a variety of unique venues for users, but the new addition is a series of venues tied to PBA League teams. Along with the new PBA League venues, which will debut on a weekly schedule beginning on Thursday, Dec. 7, the game will offer a special PBA 60th Anniversary venue. The new PBA League venue schedule will include the Dallas Strikers venue on Dec. 7; Silver Lake Atom Splitters, Dec. 14; L.A. X, Dec. 21; Portland Lumberjacks, Dec. 28; Motown Muscle, Jan. 4; Philadelphia Hitmen, Jan. 11; Brooklyn Styles, Jan. 18; New York WTT KingPins, Jan.. 25, and the Elias Cup Finals venue on Feb. 1.

Everyone with a mobile device is invited to join the fun. The PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game app is a free download at Google Play and Apple App stores. Use these links: Google Play: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeAnd or Apple App Store: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeiOS

PBA STARS CHRIS BARNES, TOMMY JONES WIN WORLD BOWLING DOUBLES GOLD MEDAL

Long-time PBA competitors and friends Tommy Jones and Chris Barnes, who have combined for 25 appearances as members of Team USA, bowled as doubles partners for the first time in the World Bowling Men’s Championships Tuesday at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, and captured the World Bowling men’s doubles gold medal with a 420-409 victory over Hong Kong’s Lau Kwun Ho and Eric Tseng.

Barnes and Jones, who were members of the gold medal U.S. teams at the World Championships in 2008 and 2010, are competing in the multi-event World Bowling Men’s Championships along with fellow PBA members Marshall Kent, Jakob Butturff, AJ Johnson and Chris Via. The team did not medal in singles earlier this week.

"Obviously, anytime you get to win for Team USA, it means a lot, and being able to win with one of my best friends makes it even more special," Jones said. "It's also really nice to get this gold medal early in the tournament to show the younger guys what it's all about and what it means to us and hopefully spark something for later in the week. We're here for one key thing, which is to win the team event, and it's nice to have that momentum."

Tuesday's doubles win was the sixth World Championships gold medal for Barnes, who will be inducted into the PBA Hall of Fame in Indianapolis in February. Barnes won World Bowling Masters gold medal in 2010 and all-events in 2013 to complement two team titles and a previous doubles victory.

LANETALK’S WSOB IX SUMMARY ILLUSTRATES SKILL LEVEL

The overall skill level of the 195 PBA members who competed in GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties, was illustrated in an end-of-event statistical summary by LaneTalk, PBA’s stats partner for the event:

● Overall, tournament players bowled 9,041 games and knocked down 1,951,511 pins.

● For all four animal pattern events and the PBA World Championship, the entire field averaged 215.85.

● The full field threw strikes on 57.37% of all first shots, hitting the pocket 73.46% of the time.

● Players threw consecutive strikes 59.01% of the time.

● Of the non-strike shots, the field left “makeable spares” (non-splits) 33.03% of the time, and converted those leaves 86.97% of the time.

● As a group, the players left single pins 23.24% of the time. Within that stat were 6,366 10 pins which were converted 91.4% of the time and 2,810 7 pins which were converted 91.1% of the time.

XTRA FRAME AVAILABLE AT NO COST TO BPAA-MEMBER CENTERS

BPAA-member bowling centers are reminded that as part of the new 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour umbrella sponsorship package, they are eligible for complimentary Xtra Frame subscriptions, allowing them to make PBA’s exclusive online bowling channel available to their customers at no cost.

It’s easy: all a BPAA-member center has to do is contact PBA’s Dave Schroeder (email: dave.schroeder@pba.com) and after confirming membership, Schroeder will provide the participating center with its promotional code and activation instructions in time for dozens of hours of coverage of WSOB IX events.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: SEAN LAVERY-SPAHR WINS DECISIVE GAME FOR TITLE

Sean Lavery-Spahr from Pasadena, Texas, defeated former PBA Southwest Region Player of the Year Shawn Maldonado of Houston, 221-211 in their decisive position round match, to win the 16th annual PBA Beaumont Southwest Open at Crossroads Bowling Center in Beaumont, Texas, Sunday. The victory was Lavery-Spahr’s fourth career PBA Regional title.

Lavery-Spahr led the tournament after qualifying and through most of the match play finals, before Maldonado grabbed a 13-pin lead entering the final game. With the 30 bonus pins awarded for winning the match, the title was in doubt until the final frame when Lavery-Spahr left a 7-10 split, seemingly handing Maldonado the victory. However, Maldonado failed to convert the 2-4-5-8 spare in his 10th frame and Lavery-Spahr claimed the $3,000 first place check.

Nathan Bohr of Austin, Texas, moved into second place when he defeated Anthony Lavery-Spahr (Sean’s twin brother), 255-207, in their position round match to pass Maldonado. Sean Lavery-Spahr finished the event with 4,986 total pins, including the match play bonus pins. Bohr followed with a 4,791 pinfall total, 12 pins ahead of Maldonado.

● PBA Regional action in December gets underway this weekend with the PBA MJK Pro Shop/Knob Hill Lanes Challenge presented by Brunswick, an event for non-title winners, in Manalapan, N.J.; the PBA/PBA50 Decker Appraisal Services Baker Doubles at Valley Lanes in Harrisonburg, Va., and the DHC/DHC Women’s Scorpion Open tournaments in Ryugasaki, Japan.

● The Dec. 8-10 PBA Regional calendar includes the Petro TA South Open at Beltline Lanes in Columbia, S.C.. and the McKinley Lanes Central/East Challenge for non-championships in Niles, Ohio.

● Closing out the PBA’s pre-holiday regional season schedule will be the PBA/PBA50 Houston Southwest Open Doubles presented by Bowling Dynamix at Emerald Bowl in Houston, Texas.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the new PBA app).

QUICK NOTES:

Josh and Aimee Blanchard welcomed baby girl Piper on Tuesday, Nov. 28, at 11:08 a.m. Piper arrived at 8 pounds and 21 inches long.

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