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Walter Ray Williams Jr. returns to China to promote the sport

Walter Ray Williams Jr., PBA’s all-time titles leader, recently returned from a trip to China where he helped friend Frank Zhao, the founder and president of Longmarch Bowling, promote the opening of a new six-lane bowling center.

The new center, located in the Bund district of Shanghai, is the fourth built by Zhao’s organization in China.

Longmarch, which is involved in all aspects of the bowling industry from the manufacture of bowling equipment to construction of bowling centers, is also turning its sights to the promotion of the sport at the competitive level with the hope of growing the sport professionally, according to Williams.

“Nothing is finalized yet, but hopefully they can get a professional tournament organized sometime prior to the QubicaAMF World Cup (Oct. 14-23 in Shanghai),” Williams said.

As part of his promotional trip, Williams was featured on a 90-minute special on bowling which will be aired Aug. 1 on China’s Jiangus Sports Network.

“They are committed to growing the sport and it’s a huge market to work with,” Williams said. “They want to have me back next year for a couple weeks to expand the promotion they want to do.”

With Williams help, Zhao initiated a “PBA development league” program that has helped prepare and develop China’s top players for international competition over the past three years. For the past two years, Zhao has sent Chinese representatives to compete in the PBA World Series of Bowling.

“There are 25 million people alone in the Shanghai area, so the potential is unlimited,” Williams added.

While in Asia, Williams also competed in the Andong Korean Invitational which attracted a field of 220 players. As for how he did, all he would say is, “not very good.”

Next up on Xtra Frame: Big finish on tap for PBA50 players at Island Xtreme

2016XtraFrameLogo2.jpgExclusive PBA50 Tour coverage is heading toward a showcase finish in Welch, Minn., with the stepladder finals in three animal pattern preliminary events on tap for Friday followed by the final rounds of the PBA50 Treasure Island Resort & Casino World Championship presented by Storm on Saturday.

Friday’s coverage from Island Xtreme Bowl when the finals of the PBA50 Viper Championship will begin at 1:30 p.m., the Chameleon Championship at 3:30 p.m. and the Scorpion Championship at 6 p.m. All times are Eastern. PBA50 Regional titles will be awarded in each event.

The PBA50 World Championship wraps up on Saturday with match play round one at 9:45 a.m., match play round two at 2:45 p.m. and the five-player stepladder finals at 7:30 p.m.

Following the PBA50 World Championship, PBA50 players will head to Olympia Lanes in Hammond, Ind., for the annual PBA50 South Shore Open presented by DV8 July 26-28.

PBA and PWBA Tour players will team up on Xtra Frame’s full coverage of the PBA-PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles from Bowl on Bellaire (formerly Palace Bowl) in Houston, Texas, July 29-31.

The tournament affectionately called the “Luci” honors the late Luci Bonneau, a breast cancer victim. Qualifying begins on Friday, July 29, and concludes on Sunday, July 31. All rounds will be covered live on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, and both PBA and PWBA Tour titles will be awarded if the respective players are members.

PBA50 Tour competitor John Burkett undergoes ankle surgery

2015PBA50JohnBurkett_small.jpgFormer Major League All-Star pitcher John Burkett, a second-year competitor on the PBA50 Tour, has announced via Twitter that after two years of struggling with a torn ankle ligament, he underwent surgery Tuesday to repair the problem and will miss the duration of the 2016 season.

Special benefits available to new, returning PBA members through Aug. 31

2016PBALogo.jpgAs the PBA heads into the core of its 2016 season, now is the perfect time for bowlers who have dreamed of pursuing the PBA challenge – and former members who would like to return to competition – to take the step.

With five Xtra Frame PBA Tour title events, a multi-event PBA Fall Swing in Detroit, the PBA Fall Classic in Las Vegas and the eighth annual PBA World Series of Bowling in Reno remaining on the schedule, the opportunities are abundant.

During its current membership drive, PBA is waiving the traditional initiation fee to join the PBA until August 31.

Bowlers who are on active-duty with the U.S. military will be granted free membership for the rest of 2016; all they have to do is apply. And newly-graduating collegiate bowlers are eligible for a low-cost PBA24 membership which allows them to test the PBA waters without committing to a full membership.

PBA members are eligible to enter all PBA tournaments (including PBA’s extensive schedule of QubicaAMF Regional events), receive entry priority and lower-cost entry fees for select events that are open to non-members, and receive a variety of benefits depending upon their membership level. Bowlers also are reminded the PBA Fall Swing in Detroit and WSOB VIII are members-only events.

To join, click here.

QubicaAMF PBA Regional Update: Warren, Frankos win Reno Doubles event

2015PBA50ChrisWarren.jpg2010RPIJeffFrankos.jpgChris Warren (left) of Grants Pass, Ore., and Jeff Frankos (right) of Daly City, Calif., teamed up to defeat Noel Vazquez of Sacramento, Calif., and David Haynes of Las Vegas, 426-391, to win the PBA Sands Regency West\Northwest Doubles presented by MOTIV at High Sierra Lanes in Reno, Nev., Sunday.

The win was the 48th overall regional title for Warren and the 19th for Frankos. The winning team earned $4,000.

Warren and Frankos defeated the Las Vegas team of David Allen and Andrew Graff, 516-468, while Vazquez and Haynes defeated the Oregon Team of Kevin Croucher and Kyle McKay of Grants Pass, 524-426, in the semifinal round.

2014EBT16SteveNovak.jpgNon-member Steve Novak (left) of Bay City, Mich. defeated Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind., 265-246, to win the PBA Boss Snow Plows/Ebonite Central Open at PinHeads in Fishers, Ind., Sunday.

Novak downed Jeff Hatt of Oklahoma, City, Okla., 387-331, and McCune topped Anthony Kennard of Wapakoneta, Ohio, 367-362, in the two-game, total pinfall semifinal round matches to set up the championship match. Novak earned $2,000 for his victory. However, since he is a non-member, it is not recognized as a PBA title.

July’s QubicaAMF PBA Regional competition continues over the July 22-24 weekend with the PBA Angola Central/Midwest Open presented by Roto Grip at Angola Bowl in Angola, Ind., and the PBA Fort Sill Southwest Open presented by DV8 at Twin Oaks Bowling in Fort Sill, Okla.

Closing the July schedule over the July 29-31 weekend will be the PBA Romeo Chevrolet-GMC-Buick Open presented by Ebonite at Patel’s Kingston Lanes in Kingston, N.Y.; the PBA and PBA50 Boise West and Northwest Opens presented by Ebonite at 20th Century Lanes in Boise, Idaho; the PBA50 Beverly Lanes Midwest/Central Open in Arlington Heights, Ill.; the PBA50 Sparetimes Hampton South Open at Sparetimes Bowling Center in Hampton, Va., and the PBA Greater Marion Central Open at BlueFusion Fun Center in Marion, Ohio.

For complete QubicaAMF PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, click here to find the event(s) in your area.

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Author: Herbert Bickel
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