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Bowling: Ciminelli, Johnson slide into TV spotlight

Snowed in? Boycotting the NFL because of the anthem kneelers? Watching events in the GEICO PBA World Series might be a good way to stay warm and away on a snowy afternoon throughout the holiday season.

Starting Sunday (ESPN, 1 p.m) with the USA vs. The World team competition, Western New York pros Ryan Ciminelli and Liz Johnson will be competing on TV shows this month.

Ciminelli is a member of Team USA that will take on a formidable The World team in a best-of-two format at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev. The match was bowled during the PBA World Series of Bowling IX last month and taped for future showing.

The team lineups were determined by their scores for the PBA World Championship after 40 games of qualifying, 10 in each of the four animal pattern championships in the World Series.

Besides Ciminelli, the others in the Team USA lineup are Kyle Troup, Bill O’Neill, Tom Smallwood, PBA Regional winner Matt McNiel. Making up the The World team are Jason Belmonte of Australia, Jesper Svensson of Sweden, Tom Barrett of England, Thomas Larsen of Denmark and newcomer Rafiq Ismail of Malaysia. Marshall Holman will captain Team USA. Stuart Williams of England is The World Team captain.

There will be a sudden death rolloff if the teams should tie after two games.

Last year, Team USA won on a one-game rolloff. Barrett is the only member of either team back from last year’s competition.

Liz Johnson’s victory in the PBA Chameleon championship, her first on the PBA Tour, will be shown on ESPN next Sunday.

On Dec. 31, Ciminelli’s dramatic match against Belmonte in the semifinals of the PBA World Championship will be shown.

Additionally, Ciminelli is one of the PBA Tour’s top earners invited to participate in the 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational Jan. 26-28 at Tokyo Port Bowl.

Others invited are: Belmont, Svensson, Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash., Rhino Page of Orlando, Fla.; Anthony Simonsen of Austin, Texas; Sean Rash of Montgomery Ill., Yannaphon Larpapharat of Thailand, Troup and Barrett. Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., and Francois Lavoie of Canada are alternates.

The international field also will include three PBA members, one woman and one Korean PBA player.

Jones-Barnes triumphs

Bowling as doubles partners for the first time in their distinguished careers, Tommy Jones and Chris Barnes won the doubles gold medal at the World Bowling Men’s Championship at South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas, Nev. It was the sixth World Championship for Barnes.

The Team USA men swept Chinese Taipei, 2-0, in the best-of-three championship match while Malaysia won the women’s team gold medal by defeating Singapore, 2-0. It was the eighth straight time the USA won or finished second in the team event.

Jones, Marshall Kent, all-events bronze medalist AJ Johnson, Chris Via and Jakob Butturff bowled for the USA in the team event.

“We were fortunate to get out of the semifinal match with Colombia (2-1) because we got a few more breaks than they did, and at the right time,” Jones said.

The USA-Colombia semifinal came down to a rolloff won by the Americans, 47-46, after the two teams tied at 218 in the deciding game. Jones left a 2-pin on his second ball in the 10th. Gomez doubled but left a 3-pin on his third ball, forcing overtime.

Pin chasers

• There must be nervousness working on an individual 300 game, but it could be even worse being part of a team that is working on a perfect game in a Baker team match. Who wants to let down the team?
Angela Gabriele (Niagara Falls) bowled the second and seventh frames in a 300 baker game that helped Notre Dame College of Ashland, Ohio, win the Wright State Raider Classic last month in Dayton, Ohio.
Notre Dame defeated Wright State, 240-214 and 300-214 to win the championship.
Gabriele averaged 224 in two games when Notre Dame won the team title in the Orange and Black Classic in October.

• Bill Pace of Wheatfield won the Greater Buffalo USBC Association League Officers Tournament last weekend at Kerns Avenue Bowling Center. Pace’s total with handicap was 811. Lloyd (Bobby) Smith of Buffalo was next with 762. David Kaspryk of Depew was third with 751. Ninety-one bowlers competed.
The GBUSBCA Youth Team Championship is today and Sunday at Broadway Sports Center.

• How good are the pros? Consider these statistics from the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX:
For all four animal pattern events and the PBA World Championship, the entire field averaged 215.85; the full field threw strikes on 57.37 percent of all first shots, hitting the pocket 73.46 percent of the time; players threw consecutive strikes 59.01 percent of the time; the field left “makeable spares” 33.03 percent of the time, and converted 86.97 percent, and they converted 91.4 percent of 10-pin leaves and 91.1 percent of 7-pin leaves.

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