ESPN’s Super Bowl Sunday Telecast of Chris Paul’s CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational Moves to 2 p.m. ET

by Jerry Schneider January 26, 2015 02:18

ESPN has moved up the time for airing of Chris Paul’s CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by Bowlmor AMF from 4:30 p.m. ET to 2 p.m. ET on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 1). The telecast will also be increased from 90 minutes to two hours.

The CP3 fundraiser, which will again include a diverse group of celebrities and PBA Tour stars, has become a tradition on Super Bowl Sunday and will air from AMF Bowl-O-Drome in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, Calif. Proceeds from the special event benefit charities supported by Paul’s CP3 Foundation.

In addition to Paul, the celebrities competing in the made-for-TV event include comedian/radio and television personality Nick Cannon, comedian/talk-show/podcast personality Chris Hardwick, former NFL All-Pro receiver Terrell Owens, Grey’s Anatomy star Jesse Williams and rapper/hip-hop artist French Montana.

PBA Tour players competing will feature the five PBA World Championship finalists (winner Mike Fagan plus, Wes Malott, Stuart Williams, Ronnie Russell and Todd Book, who finished second through fifth respectively) and PBA stars Pete Weber, PBA Hall of Famer and 37-time PBA Tour winner; Jason Belmonte, reigning PBA Player of the Year and 10-time PBA Tour winner; Chris Barnes, 2007-08 Player of the Year and 18-time PBA Tour winner; Sean Rash, 2011-12 Player of the Year and eight-time Tour winner and Bill O’Neill, a five-time Tour winner and 2010 U.S. Open winner.

The telecast includes the Celebrity Super Clash round where all six celebrities compete in a one-ball eliminator round with the bowler with the lowest pinfall eliminated. The PBA players will bowl the PBA Super Clash to determine the top four PBA/Celebrity doubles pairings that will compete for the title.

Paul, an accomplished bowler, founded his CP3 Foundation in 2005 as a tribute to his late grandfather, Nathaniel Jones, and the Winston-Salem, N.C., community where he grew up. The foundation has provided funding for activities ranging from a scholarship program to food drives to recreational support programs for children in under-served communities.

Celebrity bowlers who have participated in previous events include fellow NBA stars LeBron James, Dwyane Wade, Blake Griffin, Rudy Gay and Kevin Durant; National Football League stars Michael Strahan, Hines Ward, LaMarr Woodley, Jack Del Rio and Reggie Bush; hip-hop stars Chris “Ludacris” Bridges, Lil Wayne and Nelly, and comedian/motion picture star Kevin Hart.

Fans can follow all PBA action through the PBA Network which includes wall-to-wall coverage of an expanded schedule of live events on Xtra Frame, player interactions through Facebook and Twitter, mobile gaming, original programming, archived events and immediate news updates 24/7 on varying communications devices anywhere in the world.  For additional PBA Network information visit http://www.pba.com/PBANetwork.

Chris Paul CP3 Celebrity Invitational Past Winners

2013 – Chris Barnes/Chris Hardwick

2012 – Pete Weber/Jerry Ferrara/Blake Griffin

2011 – Jason Belmonte/Chris Paul

2010 – Jason Belmonte/Chris Paul

2009 – Jason Couch/LeBron James

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Catch Wall-to-Wall Xtra Frame Coverage of PBA Players Championship, Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Preliminary Rounds Jan. 26-30

by Jerry Schneider January 21, 2015 07:06

The world’s best bowlers will return to Milwaukee Jan. 26-30 to compete in the preliminary rounds of two Professional Bowlers Association championship tournaments – the PBA Players Championship and the Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship – leading into a mega-television weekend in Indianapolis as part of the 50th anniversary Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions.

Bowling fans will be able to catch all the action on PBA’s online bowling channel Xtra Frame. An annual subscription to Xtra Frame is $64.99 or $7.99 per month. To subscribe to Xtra Frame, click on http://www.xtraframe.tv/pba

Longtime PBA host AMF Bowlero Lanes in suburban Wauwatosa will host the special competitions before the players head north to Green Bay to compete in the United States Bowling Congress Masters – the first major championship on the 2015 PBA schedule – which is scheduled for Feb. 2-8 at Ashwaubenon Bowl.

The Milwaukee stop will involve concurrent qualifying rounds on Tuesday, Jan. 27, and Wednesday, Jan. 28, for the Players Championship and the Roth/Holman Doubles Championship. All players will bowl two qualifying rounds totaling 12 games with the top 24 individuals and the top 12 doubles teams advancing to round-robin match play.

The Players Championship finalists will then bowl three eight-game match play rounds Wednesday at 1:30 p.m., and Thursday at 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., with the top five after a total of 36 games advancing to the stepladder finals which will be conducted for delayed telecast on ESPN on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis in conjunction with the 50th Tournament of Champions. The PBA Players Championship finals will air on ESPN on Sunday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m.

The PBA returns to an old-school format for the Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship, which is named in honor of two PBA legends who also bowled together as one of the sport’s most successful doubles teams. The doubles teams will use their combined 12-game qualifying totals to determine the 12 teams advancing to the match play finals.

The finalists will then bowl two six-game, Baker format match play rounds at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. ET on Friday, Jan. 30. After a composite total of 36 qualifying and Baker games, the top five teams will advance to the PBA Doubles Championship finals which will be conducted on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Woodland Bowl following the live 1 p.m. telecast of the Tournament of Champions finals. The PBA Doubles show will air on ESPN on March 1 at 1 p.m. ET.

Defending champion in the PBA Players Championship is Australia’s Jason Belmonte. Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, and Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., are defending Roth/Holman PBA Doubles champions. Both events were last conducted during the 2011 PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas.

As a bonus, Xtra Frame will air presentations of the 2014 PBA Player of the Year, Rookie of the Year, Steve Nagy Sportsmanship award and Tony Reyes Community Service award at 5:30 p.m. ET on Monday, Jan. 26 from AMF Bowlero.

Admission for the Milwaukee stop is $10 each day and $5 with an AMF League Card. Contact AMF Bowlero at (414) 258-9000 for additional admission details.

PBA PLAYERS CHAMPIONSHIP/MARK ROTH-MARSHALL HOLMAN DOUBLES SCHEDULE
AMF Bowlero Lanes, Wauwatosa, Wis., Jan. 26-30

All times are Eastern

Monday, Jan. 26
3 p.m. – Official practice session

Tuesday, Jan. 27
11 a.m. – Players Championship/PBA Doubles qualifying, 8 games

Wednesday, Jan. 28
9 a.m. – Players Championship/PBA Doubles qualifying, 4 games
  Top 24 individuals advance to Players Championship match play and top 12 teams advance to PBA Doubles match play
2:30 p.m. – Top 24 Players Championship, 8 games round-robin match play

Thursday, Jan. 29
9 a.m. - Top 24 Players Championship, 8 games round-robin match play
2 p.m. - Top 24 Players Championship, 8 games round-robin match play
   Top five after 36 games advance to ESPN stepladder finals at 12:30 p.m. ET on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis (finals air Sunday, Feb. 22, at 1 p.m. ET)

Friday, Jan. 30
9 a.m. – Top 12 doubles teams, 6 games round-robin match play (Baker format)
2 p.m. - Top 12 doubles teams, 6 games round-robin match play (Baker format)
  Top five doubles teams advance to ESPN stepladder finals at 4:30 p.m. ET on Sunday, Feb. 15, at Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis (finals air Sunday, March 1, at 1 p.m. ET)

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GEICO PBA WSOB Action Moves to ESPN2 Sunday With WBT Finals at 1 p.m. ET

by Jerry Schneider January 20, 2015 03:09

The GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI concludes with the introduction of an experimental scoring system being used by World Bowling during the telecast of the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA from the South Point Bowling Plaza Sunday (Jan. 25) at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

PBA stars Sean Rash and Kelly Kulick will try to defend their titles from last season after earning their berths in the 2014 finals, based on a rolling two-year points ranking involving a series of PBA International Tour-World Bowling Tour tournaments held around the world.

Sunday’s telecast will introduce an experimental “best frame” scoring system called “Frameplay,” developed by a World Bowling panel of bowling experts from around the world, exclusively for the WBT Finals. The new system was designed as a possible alternative for international competition with the goal of making the sport more attractive and easier to understand for casual bowling fans, media and other audiences. World Bowling, the international governing body for bowling, hopes an easier-to-understand scoring system for non-bowlers will help in its quest to grow the sport and get bowling accepted as an official Olympic Games sport.

In the last of seven telecasts from WSOB VI, the women’s finalists will include PBA women’s star Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., and Swedish standout Sandra Andersson bowling the opening match for the right to meet Kulick, the top qualifier and defending champion, for the title.

Johnson is making her third WBT Finals appearance. She finished third last year, losing to Missy Parkin in the semifinal, 198-195, and second in 2012, losing to Parkin in the title match, 238-190.

Kulick, also making her third WBT Finals appearance, won last year’s title by defeating Parkin, 267-194, in the title match. She also finished third in 2012, losing to Johnson in the semifinal.

The men’s final will feature three of the PBA’s top stars: Rash and reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte will face off in the semifinal match, with the winner meeting top qualifier Mika Koivuniemi.

Rash won last year’s men’s final by defeating Mike Fagan in the title match, 255-231. He also finished second in 2011 losing to Koivuniemi, 237-224, in the title match. Belmonte will be trying for his first WBT Finals title after a best finish of third in 2011.

Koivuniemi, the only player to reach all four WBT Finals telecasts, won the 2011 title by defeating Rash, 237-224, in the title match. He finished second in 2012, losing to Chris Barnes in the title match, 244-228, and in 2013, finished third, losing to Fagan in the semifinal match, 279-233.

Fans can follow all PBA action through the PBA Network which includes wall-to-wall coverage of an expanded schedule of live events on Xtra Frame, player interactions through Facebook and Twitter, mobile gaming, original programming, archived events and immediate news updates 24/7 on varying communications devices anywhere in the world.  For additional PBA Network information visit http://www.pba.com/PBANetwork.

To catch a replay of last year’s WBT Finals click on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtyI0eoW1Hk.

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PBA Challenge Finals Puts Spotlight on Other PBA Divisions Sunday at 3 p.m. ET on ESPN

by Jerry Schneider January 13, 2015 08:44

The spotlight shifts to the Professional Bowlers Association’s other divisions when the PBA Challenge Finals presented by the International Bowling Hall of Fame and Museum airs on ESPN Sunday at 3 p.m. ET from the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas. The PBA Challenge will include four one-game matches featuring the best of the PBA50 Tour, PBA Regional Tour, PBA Women’s Regional Tour and top youth bowlers battling for the Teen Masters Grand Championship. Concluding the telecast, the four winners will compete in a unique one-ball knock-out round finale.

In the PBA50 Tour finals, PBA Hall of Famer and defending champion Walter Ray Williams Jr. will face off against fellow Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli. Monacelli and Williams finished one-two in an eight-game match play qualifying event for the 2014 season’s top eight PBA50 Tour players based on competition points. The match play event preceded the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI in October.

The PBA’s Regional programs will take center stage when Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Arizona, representing the PBA’s West Region, and EJ Tackett of Huntington, Indiana, representing the PBA Central Region, battle it out in the PBA Regional finals. Both players earned their spots in an eight-game qualifier made up of the top 2014 regional point-earners from the PBA’s eight regions. Blanchard and Tackett, both former PBA Rookies of the Year (Blanchard 2011-12 and Tackett 2012-13), are examples of players who honed their skills in PBA regional competition.

In the new PBA Women’s Regional finals will be standouts Clara Guerrero, a Colombia native living in Pflugerville, Texas, representing the PBA Southwest Region, against Missy Parkin of Laguna Hills, California, who won the PBA West Region berth in the women’s qualifying event.

While not officially affiliated with the PBA, the Teen Masters Grand Championship match will put a focus on possible future PBA stars. The Teen Masters Grand Championship, presented by PBA, will include 2014 Teen Masters boys’ division winner Michael Coffey, who bowls for Lindenwood University in St. Louis, bowling against Teen Masters girls’ division winner Kelly Skalacki of Corem, New York, who competes for Webber International University.

GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VI action concludes on ESPN2 on Sunday Jan. 25 at 1 p.m. ET with the World Bowling Tour Men’s and Women’s Finals presented by the PBA, 1 p.m. ET.

Bowling fans can follow all the World Series of Bowling action through the PBA Network which includes wall-to-wall coverage of an expanded schedule of live events on Xtra Frame, player interactions through Facebook and Twitter, mobile gaming, original programming, archived events and immediate news updates 24/7 on varying communications devices anywhere in the world.  For additional PBA Network information visit www.pba.com/PBANetwork.

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Mike Fagan Wins PBA World Championship for Fifth Tour Title and Second Major

by Jerry Schneider January 11, 2015 09:02

In a championship match battle between two players from Texas, Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, prevailed to win the Professional Bowlers Association World Championship Sunday at the South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas for his fifth PBA Tour title.

Fagan, who qualified second for the stepladder finals, defeated top qualifier Wes Malott from the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, 252-212, in the title match to also record his second major title after winning the United States Bowling Congress Masters in 2012.

“It’s the majors where you can separate yourself from everyone else,” said Fagan, who is originally from Long Island, New York. “These opportunities don’t come around too often so you always have to consider yourself fortunate to be in a position to win and the take advantage of the opportunity you worked so hard for.

“Making it into the (PBA) Hall of Fame is one of my goals,” he continued. “I’ve thought about my place in the sport and while winning my second major is another step in getting there, it’s a big step for sure.”

In the title match, Fagan and Malott traded strikes in the first four frames but then a turning point came when Malott, trying for his 10th title, left the 2-10 split in the fifth which he failed to convert. Fagan had a moment of his own when he left an 8-10 split in the eighth frame but was able to finish strong and hold off Malott for the win.

“As much as you try to relax it’s still very stressful,” Fagan said. “I was concentrating so hard I didn’t know what frame I was in or what the score was. I just wanted to make good shots.

Malott, who was also trying for his second major after winning the U.S. Open in 2013, admitted to having problems figuring out the left lane in the second half of the game.

“The left lane transitioned a lot for me and I made a move that I was confident in making but I missed my break point,” said Malott, who also finished second in the 2009 World Championship. “Of all the things that could go wrong, that’s something I didn’t think I would do.”

In the semifinal match Fagan defeated No. 5 qualifier Stuart Williams of England, 219-206, to advance to the championship match.

Williams, who was trying to win his second Tour title and become the second consecutive player from England to win the World Championship (Dom Barrett won last year’s World Championship), opened the stepladder by defeating No. 4 qualifier Todd Book, who was trying for his first Tour title, 246-211. Williams then went on to defeat Ronnie Russell of Marion, Indiana, who was trying for his third title in the second match 259-248 to advance to the semifinal.

As the third major and final tournament of the season, the World Championship (formerly called the PBA National Championship from 1960-2001), has distinguished itself as one of the premier showcases for the world’s best bowling talent. In addition to the $50,000 first prize, Fagan took home the Earl Anthony Trophy named after the late PBA Hall of Famer who holds the record for most World Championship wins with six.

Malott earned $25,000 for second, Williams, $15,000 for third, Russell, $12,000 for fourth and Book $10,000 for fifth.

The five finalists advanced to the finals after preliminary qualifying and match play rounds conducted during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling last October at the South Point. The finalists competed in a total of 52 games on five different lane conditions to reach the finals.

PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP
Sunday’s Final Results
At South Point Bowling Plaza
Las Vegas

Final Standings: 1, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas, $50,000. 2, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, $25,000. 3, Stuart Williams, England, $15,000. 4, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., $12,000. 5, Todd Book, Russells Point, Ohio, $10,000.

Playoff Results: Match One – Williiams def. Book, 246-211. Match two – Williams def. Russell, 259-248. Semifinal – Fagan def. Williams, 219-206. Championship match – Fagan def. Malott, 252-212.

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