(Storm staffer Osku Palermaa)
Storm's two-handed tandem, Jason Belmonte of Australia and Osku Palermaa of Finland will face Sean Rash in the PBA Chameleon Open finals Sunday on ESPN. Rounding out the field of four will be unsung Venezuelan Ildemaro Ruiz, making his third career PBA television appearance.
The Chameleon Open is the second of four PBA “animal pattern” championships conducted during the World Series of Bowling at South Point Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. ESPN will air the finals at 3 p.m. ET (noon PT).
Belmonte averaged 236.29 to pace the Chameleon field with Palermaa 16 pins behind, averaging at a 235.14 pace. Rash was another 25 pins behind Palermaa while Ruiz qualified fourth for the four-man eliminator format finals.
Eliminator-format finals feature three one-game rounds. All four players bowl the opening game, with the lowest-scoring player after each game being eliminated.
Belmonte, the 2008-09 PBA Rookie of the Year, is trying for his second career title. He won his only Tour title in the 2009 Bowling Foundation Long Island Open. In the meantime, Palermaa, his primary rival in the world of two-handed players, has won twice including the 2012 PBA World Championship. Ruiz is trying for his first PBA title.
In their only two previous meetings in PBA Tour televised competition, Palermaa is 2-0 vs. Belmonte. Palermaa defeated Belmonte, 182-176, in the 2010 GEICO Shark Championship semifinal match and he nipped the Aussie, 10-6, in a one-ball rolloff after they tied at 203-203 in round one of the PBA World Championship elimination finals, knocking Belmonte out of title contention in that event.
The Chameleon Open winner will earn $15,000 and a berth in the Round of 36 for the end-of-season PBA Tournament of Champions, April 8-15, at Red Rock Lanes in Las Vegas.
A Chameleon Open pre-event show will be webcast at no cost on pba.com’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel starting Wednesday, with a follow-up post-game show immediately following Sunday’s ESPN telecast. To subscribe to Xtra Frame , visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo.