Wheaties Signs on as Sponsor of PBA League, L.A. X Team

by Bill Vint March 2, 2015 09:28

CHICAGO – The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) and Wheaties have reached an agreement to have the General Mills brand come on as a sponsor for both the 2015 PBA League playoffs and as presenting sponsor of team L.A. X later this month at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

The sponsorship package will include on-site signage during the PBA League Elias Cup Playoffs, as well as 30-second commercials on the four ESPN telecasts originating from the event. PBA League quarterfinal, semifinal and Elias Cup Finals shows will air on ESPN on March 29, April 5, April 12 and April 19.

“Wheaties is an iconic brand, and to have it attach its name to the PBA is very exciting,” said PBA Commissioner Tom Clark. “The PBA has a lot of momentum. Large audiences have been riveted to compelling action on the lanes."

Wheaties’ deal with the PBA comes as the Tour’s television series is enjoying a 22 percent increase in year-over-year audience ratings on ESPN.

“The PBA is a high-energy organization, and bowling has really grown in popularity, so it was a great opportunity for us,” said Jamie Lyon, associate marketing manager for Wheaties. “We have a history with working with so many iconic athletes. There’s something about bowling that’s very classic.”

Shamrock Sports & Entertainment, the PBA’s strategic marketing and sales agency, negotiated the agreement.

"The PBA is experiencing historic popularity via double digit increases in ratings on ESPN and Wheaties is eager to tap into that passion and performance,” Shamrock President Brian Corcoran said. "We are confident this initial partnership between PBA and Wheaties only scratches the surface of many shared values and championship celebrations to come.”

Wheaties will sponsor the PBA League’s L.A. X, a team founded by Los Angeles Clippers all-star Chris Paul and featuring a roster that includes two-time reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia; England’s Stuart Williams, Sweden’s Martin Larsen, Colombia’s Andres Gomez and Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla. Andrew Cain is team manager.

The PBA League portion of the PBA’s schedule has a unique attraction to potential sponsors, Clark said, because it features teams competing rather than individuals.

“During the traditional season, a brand can sponsor a player or multiple players and gamble on that player making the ESPN finals,” he said. “During the PBA League competition, you know for a fact that your team is going to have visibility on ESPN.”

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Kingdom of Bahrain International Open is Underway

by Bill Vint March 2, 2015 05:51

The 13th Kingdom of Bahrain International Open, a PBA International-World Bowling Tour event, is underway at Ozone Entertainment Centre in Sitra, Bahrain. The tournament concludes on Saturday. To follow the daily action, visit: http://abf-online.org/index.html (Photos courtesy Terence Yaw and Asian Bowling Federation).

Here’s the Bahrain format: players will bowl 12 qualifying games in two six-game blocks (qualifying continues thru Thursday). Top six, including one Bahraini, will automatically advance to Round 5. Qualifiers 7-12 advance to Round 4. Qualifiers 13-18 advance to Round 3. Qualifiers 19-30, including two Bahrainis and one woman, advance to Round 2. Each round begins from scratch; no carryover pins.

Round 2 (Friday morning): Qualifiers 19-30 bowl six games, top six advance to Round 3.

Round 3 (Friday afternoon): Qualifiers 13-18 plus top six from Round 2 bowl six games, top six advance to Round 4.

Round 4 (Saturday morning): Qualifiers 7-12 plus top six from Round 3 bowl six games, top six advance to Round 5.

Round 5 (Saturday afternoon): Qualifiers 1-6 plus top six from Round 4 bowl six games, top four advance to championship rounds.

Semifinal Match (immediately after Round 4): Qualifier 3 vs. Qualifier 2, one game. Winner bowls Qualifier 1 (semifinal winner must win two one-game matches to win the title).

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Malott Helps Duke Win 38th Title in Roth/Holman PBA Doubles Championship; Duke Now Third on Titles List

by Bill Vint March 1, 2015 06:52

INDIANAPOLIS – Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Famer Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla., with the help of partner Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, successfully defended their Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship at Woodland Bowl, giving Duke his 38th career title and sole possession of third place on the all-time PBA titles list.

The doubles event aired Sunday on ESPN with the hall of fame namesakes in the crowd, watching the action.

Duke, who stands 5-foot-6 and weighs 128 pounds, teamed up with Malott, at 6-foot-4, 250 pounds, to defeat international stars Dom Barrett of England and Osku Palermaa of Finland, 228-203, for a victory that also gave Malott 10 career titles and eligibility for future PBA Hall of Fame consideration.

The 2011 Roth-Holman Doubles champions entered the finals as top qualifiers, and they bowled a game that was four single-pin spares away from perfection despite their contrasting physiques and bowling styles. Duke played a relatively straight line up the outside of the right lane, leaving and converting three of the four single-pin spares, but never missing the pocket. Malott played an inside angle on the left lane with his power game, striking on six of his seven shots.

“On day one in Milwaukee (where qualifying rounds for the doubles event took place two weeks earlier), there was so much traffic I had to play straight,” Duke said. “I couldn’t go around (the big-hook players), but the shot I found looked great and I told myself to remember that, because I figured that’s what we would face in the TV finals if we got that far, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Malott followed Duke’s lead.

“We discussed the situation and decided I’d finish the game on the left lane, where I could stand far to the left on the approach and wouldn’t have to deal with the ball return,” Malott said. “We had to let the conditions develop, but Norm was okay on the right lane, and I was okay on the left. Norm told me some past history about leaving single pins on the right lane and I wanted to make sure he remembered what he told me.”

As predicted, Duke left back-to-back single pins in his first two frames of the Baker-format contest. He said he was contemplating a ball change in hopes of striking, but Malott talked him out of it.

“Wes told me to just live with it,” Duke said. “He told me, stick with the plan. We got a couple more nine-counts, but he just sat on that left lane and pounded the pocket. That’s the reason we worked together so well. He believed in me and I believed in him, and it worked.”

While breaking his tie with Pete Weber for third place on the PBA career titles list (behind Walter Ray Williams Jr. with 47 and Earl Anthony with 43) was memorable, Duke was subdued about the accomplishment.

“I don’t think anyone believes Pete is done winning titles,” the 50-year-old Duke said. “I don’t like to think that I’m done, either. This is part of a process in building a career. I’m glad to be part of helping Wes build with his career, and I’m certainly glad he’s helping with mine, because without him, I’m probably still chasing Pete. But to be ahead of Pete for even one day is a remarkable achievement, and something I truly value.”

Malott, 38, felt the same about winning his 10th title, which will earn him a spot on the PBA Hall of Fame ballot in seven years, when he competes in his 20th year of membership.

“Winning the doubles title in 2011 after struggling for a couple of years after I won Player of the Year for the 2008-09 season kind of kick-started me again,” Malott said. “Winning my 10th title and being eligible for the hall of fame someday is a huge honor, but I really don’t think it’ll set in until that day that it’s announced I’m going to be put into the hall of fame. I’m very proud and humbled by what I’ve been able to accomplish, but right now it’s mind-boggling to me.”

Barrett and Palermaa – the 2013 and 2010 PBA World Championship winners respectively – defeated DJ Archer of Friendswood, Texas, and two-hander Shawn Maldonado of Houston, Texas, 237-179, in the opening stepladder match, spoiling Maldonado’s television debut and bid for his first title. In the second match, the Finnish two-handed player and his English partner took advantage of back-to-back splits by Australian two-handed star Jason Belmonte and partner Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., to win 178-168.

Barrett and Palermaa started the semifinal match with six consecutive strikes and took advantage of back-to-back open frames by Tom Daugherty of Tampa, Fla., and partner Dino Castillo of Carrollton, Texas, to post a 220-201 victory and a berth in the title match.

PBA Tour players will compete in a trio of PBA International-World Bowling Tour events in Qatar, Bahrain and Germany over the next month before heading to Portland, Maine, March 28-31 for PBA League Elias Cup competition and the Xtra Frame Maine Event at Bayside Bowl. PBA League quarterfinal, semifinal and championship rounds will air over four consecutive Sundays beginning March 29. The Maine Event will be covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online video streaming channel, Xtra Frame.


Woodland Bowl, Indianapolis, ESPN telecast March 1

Final Standings: 1, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla./Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, $22,000. 2, Dom Barrett, England/Osku Palermaa, Finland, $12,000. 3, Tom Daugherty, Tampa, Fla./Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, $10,000. 4, Jason Belmonte, Australia/Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., $9,000. 5, DJ Archer, Friendswood, Texas/Shawn Maldonado, Houston, Texas, $8,000.

Stepladder Results: Match One – Barrett/Palermaa def. Archer/Maldonado, 237-179. Match Two – Barrett/Palermaa def. Belmonte/O’Neill, 178-168. Semifinal Match – Barrett/Palermaa def. Daugherty/Castillo, 220-201. Championship – Duke/Malott def. Barrett, Palermaa, 228-203.

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Indonesia’s Tannya Roumimper Wins H.H. Emir Cup

by Bill Vint February 27, 2015 03:44

DOHA, Qatar  – Former Wichita State University star Tannya Roumimper of Indonesia defeated home country favorite Khaled Al-Dossari, 516-430 in the two-game total pinfall final match, to win the H.H. Emir Cup Friday at Qatar Bowling Centre.

Roumimper rolled games of 287 and 229, including 8 handicap pins per game awarded to women entered in the tournament, to handily top Al-Dossari’s 184 and 246 games. But the former collegiate All-American needed her handicap pins in eliminating UAE’s Naif Oqab in the Step 3 semifinal round, 437-428. Top qualifier Danielle McEwan, a Team USA member from Stony Point, N.Y., was eliminated in the other Step 3 match, losing to Al-Dossari, 441-405.

The H.H. Emir Cup is a PBA International-World Bowling Tour event. Roumimper will not be credited with a PBA title because she received eight handicap pins per game and she is not a PBA member.

PBA International-WBT competition continues with the Kingdom of Bahrain Open at Ozone Entertainment Centre in Manama, Bahrain, March 2-7, and the Brunswick Euro Challenge at Dream Bowl Palace in Munich, Germany, March 14-22. PBA fans can follow the action in Bahrain by visiting abf-online.org and in Munich by visiting brunswickeurochallenge.com.

Qatar Bowling Centre, Doha, Qatar, Friday, Feb. 27

Championship (two games, total pinfall; women entrants receive 8 handicap pins per game)
f-Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia ($25,000) def. Khaled Al-Dossari, Qatar ($12,000), 516-430.

Step 3 Final Standings (two games, total pinfall; winners advance to Step 4 championship, losers earned $6,000)
f-Roumimper def. Naif Oqab, United Arab Emirates, 437-427.
Al-Dossari def. f-Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y., 441-405.

Step 2 Final Standings (after 6 games, top 4 advance to Step 3 semifinal round)
1, f-McEwan, 1,368.
2, f-Roumimper, 1,362.
3, Oqab, 1,333.
4, Al-Dossari, 1,306.
5, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,302, $2,700.
6, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,276, $2,700.
7, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 1,273, $2,700.
8, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 1,258, $2,700.
9, f-Cherie Tan, Singapore, 1,257, $2,300.
10, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1,254, $2,300.
11, Manuel Otalora, Colombia, 1,249, $2,300.
12, f-Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 1,244, $2,300.
13, Yousif Falah, Bahrain, 1,240, $2,100.
14, Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, 1,236, $2,100.
15, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland, 1,219, $2,100.
16, Martin Larsen, Sweden, 1,149, $2,100.

f-denotes female competitors who receive 8 handicap pins per game in addition to actual pinfall totals

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Wes Malott Leads Field of 10 Step 1 Qualifiers into H.H. Emir Cup Final Rounds in Qatar

by Bill Vint February 26, 2015 03:49

DOHA, Qatar  – Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, averaged 226.17 over six games Thursday to lead the field of 10 players who advanced from the Step 1 round to Friday’s final rounds of the H.H. Emir Cup at Qatar Bowling Centre.

Thursday’s top 10 will join preliminary qualifying leaders Bahrain’s Yousif Falah, Team USA member Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y.; Mika Koivuniemi of Finland; Cherie Tan of Singapore; Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., and Martin Larsen of Sweden in the Step 2 Finals Friday.

After the six-game Step 2 round Friday, the top four players will advance to a two-game total pinfall Step 3 (semifinal) round, with the two winners then meeting in a two-game Step 4 (championship round) title match.

The H.H. Emir Cup is a PBA International-World Bowling Tour event. First prize is US$25,000. The winner – if he is a PBA member – will earn a PBA Tour title. None of the four women who advanced to the Step 2 Finals are eligible for PBA title consideration because women in the tournament receive eight handicap pins per game under tournament rules.

Qatar Bowling Centre, Doha, Qatar, Wednesday, Feb. 25
Step 1 Final Standings (after 6 games, top 10 advance to Step 2 on Friday)
1, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 1,357.
2, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 1,324.
3, Manuel Otalora, Colombia, 1,318.
4 (tie), Tom Hess, Urbandale, Iowa, and f-Tannya Roumimper, Indonesia, 1,309.
6, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 1,306.
7, Osku Palermaa, Finland, 1,305.
8, Naif Oqab, UAE, 1,280.
9, Khaled Al-Dossari , Qatar, 1,277.
10, f-Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif., 1,252.

Failed to Advance (listed by final finishing position)
17, Yousef Al-Jaber, Qatar, 1,239, $1,800.
18, Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., 1,238, $1,800.
19, Mansour Al-Hajri, Qatar, 1,237, $1,800.
20 (tie), Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., and Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 1,227, $1,800.
22, Salem Al Hajras, Kuwait, 1,196, 1,300.
23, Tim Mack, Indianapolis, 1,188, $1,300.
24, Bader Al-Deyab, Qatar, 1,186, $1,300.
25, Marshall Kent, Yakima, Wash., 1,177, $1,300.
26, Ghanim Aboujassoum, Qatar, 1,161, $1,300.
27, Mohammed Al-Merekhi, Qatar, 1,150, $1,300.
28, f-New Hui Fen, Singapore, 1,137, $1,300.
29, Yaqoub Al Shatti, Kuwait, 1,122, $1,300.
30, f-Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J., 1,121, $1,300.
31, Hazeem Al-Muraikhi, Qatar, 1,100, $1,300.
32, Tom Sorce, Charlottesville, Va., 1,081, $1,300.
f-denotes female competitors who receive 8 handicap pins per game in addition to actual pinfall totals.

Step 2 Finals:
Qualifiers 1-6 (Yousif Falah, Bahrain;  f- Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y.; Mika Koivuniemi, Finland; f- Cherie Tan, Singapore; Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill.; Martin Larsen, Sweden) plus top 10 from Step 1, 6 games (no carryover pins); top 4 advance to Step 3 Finals
Step 3 Finals (Semifinal Round): No. 1 Qualifier vs. No. 4 Qualifier, No. 2 Qualifier vs. No. 3 Qualifier; two games, total pinfall.
Step 4 Finals (Championship): Two Step 3 Finals winners, two games, total pinfall.

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