A field of 20 invited PBA Tour players will join a field that includes more than 100 Japan and Korean PBA members for the renewal of the Round 1 Japan Cup in Tokyo Nov. 30-Dec. 2, the final tournament of the calendar year.
After a two-year absence, the Japan Cup returns twice in the extended 2012-13 PBA Tour season. The second Round 1 Japan Cup of the expanded season is scheduled for Nov. 28-30, 2013. As of Jan. 1, 2014, all PBA competition returns to a calendar year schedule.
Sandwiched in between the Japan Cups will be another PBA International Tour event in Japan, the DHC International Championships, Jan. 17-19, at Inazawa Grand Bowl in Aichi-ken.
The Round 1 Japan Cup 2012 will feature invited PBA Tour players (Chris Barnes, Dom Barrett, Jason Belmonte, Josh Blanchard, Parker Bohn III, Ryan Ciminelli, Norm Duke, Mike Fagan, defending champion Tommy Jones, Mika Koivuniemi, Wes Malott, Amleto Monacelli, Bill O’Neill, Rhino Page, Osku Palermaa, Sean Rash, Ryan Shafer, Pete Weber, Stuart Williams and Walter Ray Williams Jr.) Williams will make his 26th Japan Cup appearance, keeping his streak alive as the only bowler who has competed in every Japan Cup.
PBA fans can follow the action through “live scoring” on pba.com. The finals will be taped for airing on ESPN on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 3 p.m. ET. The winner will earn roughly $75,000 along with a PBA International Tour title.
PBA LEAGUE ANNOUNCEMENT CREATES NATIONAL NEWS MEDIA ATTENTION
The announcement of the new PBA League, which kicks off Jan. 18-27, in Detroit with NBA superstar Chris Paul, NFL greats Jerome Bettis and Terrell Owens and actor/comedian Kevin Hart as the first four celebrity owners, attracted significant national news media attention including a half-page feature story in USA Today, international distribution by the Associated Press, a segment on ESPN’s “Pardon the Interruption,” and coverage in Sports Business Daily, the leading publication in the sports business world.
Other outlets that covered the PBAL story included ESPN.com, ESPN LA.com, Washington Post, Yahoo Sports, Seattle Times, Las Vegas Sun, NBA Grapevine, Sacramento Bee, The Oregonian, KCAL TV-Los Angeles, Detroit Free Press, Detroit News, Lansing State Journal, Tucson Citizen, Sports Illustrated.com, NBC.com, NBC Sports.com, Black Sports Online.com, KFWB 980 News Talk-Los Angeles, and many others.
The eight-team PBA League will announce four additional celebrity owners in the weeks ahead. Complete live coverage of the PBA League Lottery (to select the draft order) and the PBA League Draft itself, when the league’s eight Franchise Players (Sean Rash, Jason Belmonte, Mike Fagan, Pete Weber, Osku Palermaa, Norm Duke, Bill O’Neill and Chris Barnes) selected their teammates, was webcast internationally on Xtra Frame, PBA’s online bowling channel. The lottery and draft shows are both available in the Xtra Frame archives for those who missed the original webcasts.
PBA REGIONAL ROUNDUP: HUNT IS FIRST “SWITCH-HANDED” TITLIST IN PBA NORTHWEST
● Veteran PBA Northwest Region competitor Russ Hunt of Kennewick, Wash., became the first PBA Northwest player to win titles as a right-hander and a left-hander after teaming up with PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., to win the Northwest Region Doubles title at Stardust Lanes in Walla Walla, Wash., on Saturday, Nov. 17.
Hunt, who won a regional title in 2005 bowling right-handed, converted to his left hand after undergoing knee surgery. He and Bohn posted a 9-3 match play record and a 12-game total of 6,260 pins, including match play bonus pins, to defeat Barry Tate of Wenatchee, Wash. and Evan Nash of Kennewick by 26 pins for the $2,500 first prize.
● In the PBA Central Region, Mason Brantley of Detroit defeated Jimmy Cook of Indianapolis, 2-1 in a best-of-three-game title match, to win his first PBA regional title in the La-Z-Boy/Monroe Sport Center Non-Champions Open presented by Columbia 300 at Monroe (Mich.) Sport Center on Sunday.
Brantley, a 10-year PBA member, defeated Cook, 258-231, 186-225, 194-186, to claim his title and the $2,000 first prize. In the semifinal round, Brantley swept Aaron Gall of New Castle, Pa., 2-0, while Cook downed Chris Cundiff of Lake Station, Ind., 2-1, to set up the championship match.
● In the PBA East Region, George Tignor of Winchendon, Mass., defeated John Conroy of Mahopac, N.Y., 235-223, in a battle of non-titlists to win Bryan’s Bowling Center Senior Open presented by The Insurance Market in Laurel, Del., on Sunday.
In addition to his first PBA title, Tignor earned $1,500. He advanced to the title match after defeating defending champion Sam Maccarone of Glassboro, N.J., 212-194, in the semifinal round.
● In Farmington, N.M., Joe Findling of Mesquite, Texas, defeated first-year PBA member Sean Lavery-Spahr of Denton, Texas, 236-215, to win his third regional title Sunday in the joint PBA Southwest/West Region Farmington Open, presented by DV8, at Bowlero Lanes. Findling earned $2,700.
Concluding the November regional calendar will be the PBA Southwest Region Beaumont (Texas) Open presented by Storm at Crossroad Bowling Center, Nov. 23-25, and the PBA South Region Tarheel Lanes Senior Open in Hendersonville, N.C., Nov. 30-Dec. 2.
For complete PBA regional schedule and entry information, visit pba.com and click on “Regional Tours” under the Schedules tab.
● ESPN Classic will re-air the finals of the 2003 GEICO Earl Anthony Classic on Monday, Nov. 26, at 11 p.m. ET.