Jason Belmonte had some complimentary things to say about Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga following his victory in the PBA World Championship, which was shown on ESPN Sunday.
Belmonte won the championship, his ninth career major and third of the season, a feat that never had been accomplished.
Belmonte defeated top qualifier Jesper Svensson of Sweden, 238-225 in the championship match. That was after he survived a one-pin rolloff in the semifinal against Ciminelli.
"That’s going to go down as one of the most exciting shows in a long time," said Belmonte
His match against Ciminelli was the second in the stepladder final that required a tiebreaker.
In the opening match, Matt Sanders and Kuyle Troup were tied at 248 after 10 frames. Troup struck while Sanders left a 7-pin on the tiebreaker.
Ciminelli defeated Troup, 193-180, when the North Carolina bowler missed two three-pin spares.
In the semifinal match, Ciminelli struck seven of his first eight shots but Belmonte threw the final eight, forcing the sudden-death rolloff. Ciminelli left the 2-4 on his fill-ball in the 10th.
In the rolloff, Belmonte went first and left a 7 pin. Needing a strike to win, Ciminelli left the 2-5-6 on his first shot.
"I was fortunate Ryan didn’t bowl one pin higher than me," Belmonte admitted. "If you watch Ryan enough, you know he’s one of the best players out here in the clutch."
Belmonte survived losing his finger grip in the fifth frame of the final but survived.
"I thought I was in real trouble when the grip came out and I still struck," he said. "But then I was wondering if the glue (on the new grip) would set, or if I’d start thinking about it coming out again.
"I also know that just when you think Jesper’s having a bad game, he’ll strike out on you."
The victory was worth $60,000 for Belmonte. Ciminelli earned $25,000 for his third place.
ESPN's bowling show at 1 p.m. Sunday will be the seventh World Bowling Tour Men's and Women's finals, the final event of the Geico PBA World Series of Bowling bowled last month at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nev.
The top three points earners in men’s and women’s divisions earned berths in separate stepladder finals.
Shalin Zulkifli of Malaysiawill oppose two-time defending WBT Finals champion Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, the No. 2 qualifier. The winner will take on top qualifier Diana Zavjalova of Latvia for the championship and a $12,000 first prize.
In the men’s semifinal, No. 3 qualifier Marshall Kent, the former collegiate star from of Yakima, Wash., will meet Sweden's Svensson. The winner will face Belmonte for the title and the $12,000 first prize.
The WBT Finals again will feature World Bowling’s "Current Frame" scoring system, where players earn 30 pins a frame for each strike, 10 pins plus the total from their first shot of that frame for a spare, or actual total pinfall for the frame for an open frame. The alternative scoring format consists of 10 frames, the same as in a traditional game, but there are no additional shots in the 10th frame if a player strikes or spares. The maximum score is still 300 if a player strikes in all 10 frames.
X-The Tonawanda Travel team of Joshua Large, Michael Weber, Dominic Germano and Ryan Reese won the Scratch Division title last month in the Greater Buffalo USBC Association's 31st annual Youth Team Championship Tournament at Broadway Sports Center.
They shot 2,586, 114 pins in front of the Lancaster Pepsi team of Emily Crone, Justin Vera, Parker Flis and Collin Cooper.
X-Angela Gabriele (Niagara Falls) of Notre Dame College (Ohio) was the top scorer among women with a 1,064 pins and a 212.8 average in the Roto Grip Keyston Quaker Tournament in Allentown, Pa., last week. Notre Dame finished second to Robert Morris ( Ill.) in the women's division. Erie Community College was 19th.
The ECC men were 19th in their division. Wisconsin-Whitewater was first. Canisius was 33rd. Joshua Large had a 1,046 all-events total (209.2 average) for ECC. Andrew Burckhalter of the Kats shot 983 (196.6).
The scene shifted to Bethlehem, Pa., for the Lehigh Valley Collegiate Classic. Gabriele was third in all-events with 1,074 pins and a 214.8 average with highs of 236 and 619. Notre Dame finished third behind Wright State (Ohio) and Schenectady CC. ECC was 12th.
In the men's division, Robert Morris (Ill.) came out on top. ECC was 19th again and Canisius 32nd. Burckhalter was ECC's top bowler with 985 pins for a 197 average.