This Sunday on ESPN: PBA USA vs. The World Team Competition

by Jerry Schneider January 4, 2011 04:47

SUNDAY, JAN. 9, 1 P.M. EASTERN

After a one-week break the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour returns to ESPN this Sunday with an international flavor and a unique team format.

The PBA World Series of Bowling’s team event pits six American bowlers who finished highest in the 60-game qualifying session against six international players who had fared best while bowling 12 games per day on five different lane conditions. The six-man team event will award one point for each of six head-to-head matches, plus three points to the team with the highest total pinfall.

Making up the U.S team will be 2008-09 PBA Player of the Year Wes Malott, 2007-08 Player of the Year Chris Barnes, two-time Tour Champion Michael Haugen Jr., 2010 Viper winner Bill O’Neill, four-time Tour titlist Sean Rash and Ronnie Russell.

Making up the International squad will be PBA Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela, two-handed specialists Jason Belmonte of Australia and Osku Palermaa of Finland who won the 2010 Shark Championship. Two more Finns--eight-time PBA Tour winner Mika Koivuniemi and Kimmo Lehtonen--along with Dan MacLelland of Canada round out the international team.

PBA World Championship finals begin live telecast portion of Tour season on ESPN2/ESPN Jan. 14-16

The team competition is the prelude to the final event of the PBA World Series of Bowling – the PBA World Championship. On Thursday, Jan. 14, the 2010-11 Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour season kicks into high gear with a “first” – three days of live stepladder final action featuring the top eight qualifiers in a battle for a $50,000 first prize and the PBA Tour’s first major title of the year. The eight players who will battle for the PBA World Championship will return to South Point Bowling Center where they qualified by bowling 12 games on each of five different PBA lane conditioning patterns during the PBA World Series of Bowling in late October.

The first-ever eight-man stepladder final begins with No. 7 qualifier Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, bowling a one-game match against Australia’s two-handed star and No. 8 qualifier Jason Belmonte, on Friday, Jan. 14, at 5 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2. The winner will bowl No. 6 qualifier Michael Haugen Jr. of Carefree, Ariz.

On Saturday, Jan. 15, Friday’s winner will meet No. 5 qualifier Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich., in the opening match at 9 p.m. Eastern on ESPN2. That winner will meet No. 4 Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas.

The PBA World Championship finals shift to ESPN on Sunday at 1 p.m. Eastern, when Saturday night’s survivor will start the show against Finland’s two-handed star and No. 3 qualifier Osku Palermaa. The winner advances to the semifinal match against No. 2 qualifier Sean Rash, who moved to Montgomery, Ill., following the World Series. Top qualifier Bill O’Neill will then take on the semifinal match survivor in a one-game battle for the $50,000 top prize and the Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour’s first major title of the 2010-11 season.

Special insider coverage of the PBA World Championship will be available on pba.com’s Xtra Frame video streaming service. To subscribe, visit pba.com, and click on the Xtra Frame logo.

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