SEATTLE – A field of 20 Professional Bowlers Association stars, led by points leader Jason Belmonte of Australia, and including record-setting PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr., will compete in the 27th Round1 Japan Cup Nov. 28-30 at Minami Suna Round1 Bowling Center in Tokyo.
The top 16 PBA members who qualified for the Japan Cup based upon competition points earned during the past season include Belmonte; Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas; Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill.; Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo.; Chris Loschetter of Avon, Ohio; Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif.; Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa.; Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J.; Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C.; defending champion Mika Koivuniemi of Hartland, Mich.; Stuart Williams of England; Dan MacLelland of Canada; Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Jason Sterner of McDonough, Ga.; Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas, and Norm Duke of Clermont, Fla.
Four players invited by the Japan Cup organizing committee include Finland’s Osku Palermaa; Rhino Page of Dade City, Fla.; Walter Ray Williams Jr., and Venezuela’s Amleto Monacelli.
The 20 PBA qualifiers and invited players will be divided equally between Squads A and B for qualifying when the tournament gets underway
In addition, invitations were extended to PBA members to participate in a Pro Tour Qualifier where additional berths in the tournament will be earned. Players who accepted the PTQ invitation include Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind.; Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y.; E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind.; Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz.; Anthony LaCaze of Melrose Park, Ill.; Jake Peters of Decatur, Ill.; Tom Hess of Urbandale, Iowa; Julio Cesar Blancas and Humberto Vazquez of Mexico, and John Furey of Freehold, N.J.
Koivuniemi, who defeated Japan’s Yoshihiro Kaji for his second Round1 Japan Cup title and a $71,700 first prize last December, is one of six multiple champions in the field. Bohn has won the Japan Cup four times. Jones is a three-time winner. Weber, Monacelli and W.R. Williams have each won the event two times. Barnes also has won the Cup once.
The Japan Cup, hosted by the Japan Professional Bowlers Association and PBA, and sponsored by Round1 Corporation, will be nationally televised in Japan. The finals will subsequently be webcast on a delayed basis by the PBA on its exclusive online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.
ROUND1 JAPAN CUP SCHEDULE
Minami Suna Round1 Bowling Center, Tokyo, Japan (all times are local in Japan)
Wednesday, Nov. 27
9 a.m. – Practice session
1:30 p.m. – Pro Tournament Qualifier
4 p.m. – Press Conference (Shinagawa Prince Hotel)
5:30 p.m. – Welcome reception (Shinagawa Prince Hotel)
Thursday, Nov. 28
8:30 a.m. – Squad A, 10 qualifying games (top 32 from Squad A advance)
4:30 p.m. – Squad B, 10 qualifying games (top 32 from Squad B advance)
Friday, Nov. 29 (best of five games, single-elimination match play)
10:30 a.m. – Round of 64 (losers eliminated)
Noon – Round of 32 (losers eliminated)
5:40 p.m. – Round of 16 (losers eliminated)
Saturday, Nov. 30 (television finals, one-game matches)
11:45 a.m. – Round of 8, Match One
12:10 p.m. – Round of 8, Match Two
12:35 p.m. – Round of 8, Match Three
1 p.m. – Round of 8, Match Four
1:45 p.m. – Semifinal Round, Match One
2:10 p.m. – Semifinal Round, Match Two
2:35 p.m. – Championship Match
PAST JAPAN CUP CHAMPIONS
1985 – Ken Taniguchi
1986 – Pete Weber
1987 – Amleto Monacelli
1988 – Takeo Sakai
1989 – Randy Pedersen
1990 – Chris Warren
1991 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
1992 – Parker Bohn III
1993 – Pete Weber
1994 – Brian Voss
1995 – Amleto Monacelli
1996 – Steve Wilson
1997 – Doug Kent
1998 – Parker Bohn III
1999 – Parker Bohn III
2000 – Parker Bohn III
2001-02 – Bob Learn Jr.
2002-03 – Robert Smith
2003-04 – Chris Barnes
2004-05 – Tommy Jones
2005-06 – Tommy Jones
2006-07 – Walter Ray Williams Jr.
2007-08 – Mika Koivuniemi
2008-09 – Patrick Allen
2009-10 – Tommy Jones
2010-11 – not held
2012 – Mika Koivuniemi