Allen set to make Team USA debut at Men's World Championships


    United States

    2006PBAPatrickAllen.jpg Even though he feels he gets more credit than deserved, Patrick Allen (left) helped mentor fellow left-hander Rhino Page to arguably one of the best rookie seasons in the history of professional bowling.

    2007PBA09RhinoPage_small.jpg Now Allen, a 10-time winner on the Denny's Professional Bowlers Association Tour, will have the chance to look to Page (pictured right) for tips and advice as he prepares to make his Team USA debut at the upcoming World Tenpin Bowling Association Men's World Championships, scheduled for Aug. 22-30 in Bangkok, Thailand.

    "Rhino is a great player, largely because he came through this program," said Allen of Wesley Chapel, Fla. "A lot of the success he had on tour was because of Team USA."

    The Men's World Championships marks the much anticipated first appearance of professionals at the World Championships. Joining Allen and Page in Thailand on the six-player Team USA squad are fellow Denny's PBA Tour stars Walter Ray Williams Jr. of Ocala, Fla., Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas, and Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C., along with amateur Bill Hoffman of Columbus, Ohio.

    Professionals are now eligible to compete with Team USA in international competition, thanks to a change in WTBA legislation last August.

    At the 2006 World Championships, Page and Hoffman helped the United States win the team gold medal for the first time since 1971, highlighted by Hoffman's 300 in the second-to-last game. Page also won singles silver and Masters bronze in 2006.

    "Guys like Rhino and Bill have been through the wars internationally," said Allen, the 2004-05 PBA Player of the Year thanks to three titles including the PBA World Championship. "There's going to be some stuff that they've seen before that we haven't, so we'll need to use that to our advantage.

    "From what I hear, the whole atmosphere is a lot different than what we are used to on tour - a lot of other exterior factors. We're going to have to mindset of being used to guys stepping up (on the approach) one lane next to you and not being able to put the ball down on the ball return. Some factors were not used to and that will be a bit of a challenge."

    Allen continued to be among the elite bowlers on tour in 2007-08, winning a title for the fifth consecutive season on his way to finishing sixth in the points standings. All five professionals representing Team USA finished in the top nine in points, however Allen knows nothing will be handed to them in Thailand.

    "There are a lot of expectations for the PBA guys to go out there and win the gold medal," Allen said. "But we have to be up to the challenge. We've got to be ready."

    The Men's World Championships, which will be held at SF Strike Bowl Ngamwonwan, will feature more than 300 athletes from 56 countries competing in six disciplines - doubles, trios, team, singles, all-events and Masters.