LAS VEGAS – “The World,” a team of seven international stars, defeated an all-star team of American professionals Friday to win the High 5 Gear PBA League Challenge: USA vs. The World, a special event that kicked off PBA World Series of Bowling V at South Point Bowling Center.
The special event was webcast live on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.
The international team won the Challenge with a 211-183 Baker team victory to conclude the special event, earning three points for the team win and a 4-2 victory in the competition with featured a singles match, an alternate-ball doubles match and a Baker trio match.
In the team finale, Finland’s Osku Palermaa struck in the sixth frame, following a strike in the fifth frame by The World team captain, Jason Belmonte of Australia, to give his team the lead. Consecutive strikes by Venezuela’s Amleto Monacelli, England’s Dom Barrett and two more by Belmonte clinched the victory.
The USA had taken an early 2-1 lead when Chris Barnes defeated Finland’s Mika Koivuniemi, 265-233, in the singles match and Sean Rash, Bill O’Neill and Mike Fagan won the Baker trios contest, 234-219, over an international team composed to Belmonte, Palermaa and Monacelli. England’s Barrett and Stuart Williams defeated PBA Hall of Famers Pete Weber and Norm Duke, 257-166, in the doubles match.
The High 5 Gear PBA League Challenge: USA vs. The World was a preview for the 2014 PBA League season which gets underway on January 22 at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich.
The PBA World Series officially begins when a capacity field of 240 players, representing 21 countries, bowl the Cheetah Championship qualifying and semifinal rounds Saturday. The Viper, Chameleon and Scorpion Championships – all named after distinct lane conditioning patterns used in the competition – will follow on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, respectively. Qualifying will begin at 8 a.m. and 2 p.m. PT each day, with the top 16 players advancing to the semifinal round at 7:30 p.m.
The top 24 players based upon combined qualifying totals from the four animal pattern championships will advance to the PBA World Championship match play finals Wednesday and Thursday.
All of the preliminary rounds will be covered live on Xtra Frame, the PBA’s subscription-based online television channel. A special World Series of Bowling Day Pass is available for $5 per day. Monthly and full-year subscriptions also are available for $7.99 or $64.99, respectively. PBA fans also can follow the competition at no cost by watching “live scoring” on pba.com.
The World Series of Bowling V concludes with two full days of television finals on Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 2-3, on special lanes installed in South Point’s Exhibition Hall B.