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Bowling News USA - December 19, 2011 Belmonte Wins 47th Bowling World Cup

SOUTH AFRICA: We all knew that Aumi Guerra could bowl, but few realized just how well she could bowl. Even though she was the defending World Cup champion it was a little bit ‘iffy’ if she could be listed as the favourite to top the podium for a second successive time with the likes of Team USA and Storm staffer, Diandra Asbaty in the field. In the World Cup history, just one young lady had managed to successfully defend her title and that was Jeanette Baker from Australia back in 1982 and 1983. However, Guerra was far from fazed by the opposition and led each of the four five-game qualifying blocks to build a very healthy 4863 20-game pinfall to carry forward into the top twenty-four for another eight games. Those eight games brought a massive 1885 to total 6748, even beating the men’s 6739 at the same stage. She almost matched that with 1850 in round three and easily snatched the number one seed for the best-of-three game stepladder final.

The records showed that Guerra’s main contenders had been Asbaty and Singapore’s Cherie Tan, the latter having the distinction of being the 2010 European Bowling Tour Masters champion. Unfortunately, Tan faded and the remaining third place on the stepladder went to Sweden’s Sandra Andersson, runner-up in the recent World Bowling Tour final to Roto Grip staffer Carolyn Dorin-Ballard.

In the semi-final Andersson, using the Roto Grip Critical Theory, came out of the blocks with a 267 to Asbaty’s 217. Andersson looked to have the line that would wrap up the best-of- three match, in two games. But the formidable American, playing a little left of the Swede, and using a Roto Grip Shooting Star, handled the transition better and got her act together to take the next two games, 241-219 and 279-243.

Asbaty had played second fiddle to Guerra through six blocks but now came her chance to once again sit atop the podium. Guerra, using the Virtual Gravity Nano, shot 266 for the win in the opening game and once again Asbaty had the task of winning two games to win the title. Game two saw a closer game, the American winning 227-214. With both players playing about the same line, the adjustments became critical. With the lanes breaking down, the third game came down to Diandra needing a strike in the tenth but left a ten pin allowing Aumi Guerra to emerge the victor by just three pins, 202-199.

Even the briefest glance at the male field would bring attention to the fact that two PBA players, Tommy Jones from the United States and Australia’s Jason Belmonte, might be a factor in a very strong field of male bowlers.

 It was the Australian, popularly known as ‘Belmo’ who, coming off winning titles in the PBA World Series of Bowling in Las Vegas, went to Jo’burg and set the pace by leading the first three blocks of the 20-game qualifying round. However, it was Tommy Jones who took the number one position after the 20th game was completed - Jones with 4903 to Belmonte’s 4832. After another eight games for the top twenty-four and a round robin session for the top eight, Tommy Jones emerged  as the top seed, Belmonte second and Ukrainian, Mykhalo Kalika placed third, the first time a Ukrainian bowler had made the finals.

In the first match Belmonte, starting out using the Outlaw, dominated the opener, 237-203, but Kalika, using a Storm Hy-road, was not about to lie down and surrender, coming back in the second game to even things up, 266-248. As the lanes started to open up because of the two high-rev players, Belmonte switched to the Virtual Gravity Nano, moved left, lofting the gutter, throwing pins everywhere for a 266. The Ukrainian didn’t have an answer to that move and finished with a 185.

The final came down to the match everyone was waiting for, Jones vs. Belmonte, USA vs. Australia. Jones had it his way the first game finishing with a 279 but only won by 20 pins. Belmonte, who had finished second in 2007 in St. Petersburg, had a game plan after the results of the first match. In the World Cup they re-oil the lanes between matches so Jason again started with the Outlaw and switched to the Virtual Gravity Nano when the lanes opened up. The plan again proved to be successful as Belmonte won the next two games 247- 216 and 259- 236. So the World Cup went to Australia for the seventh time, but the first time in the hands of the male participant.

"I led the field in St. Petersburg in 2007 and then I lost in the final so I was happy to go in as number two seed this time” said Belmonte. “All credit to Tommy for some great bowling. He always looked as if he was going to strike. And I do sympathise as I know what it feels like to lead the field and not win."

47th QubicaAMF BOWLING WORLD CUP, Johannesburg, South Africa

 Men: 1. Jason Belmonte, Australia; 2. Tommy Jones, United States; 3. Mykhalo Kalika, Ukraine; 4. Lucas Legnani, Argentina; 5. Biboy Rivera, Philippines; 6. Kimmo Lehtonen, Finland; 7. Francois Louw, South Africa; 8. Mats Maggi, Belgium.

Women: 1. Aumi Guerra, Dominican Republic; 2. Diandra Asbaty, United States; 3. Sandra Andersson, Sweden; 4. Cherie Tan, Singapore; 5. Krista Pollanen, Finland; 6. Liza Clutario, Philippines; 7. Wendy Kok, Netherlands; 8. Lisa John, England.

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