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Belmonte advances to Scorpion finals for second Animal Pattern telecast appearance


Australian two-hander Jason Belmonte won his best-of-three Pepsi PBA Scorpion Championship presented by Go Bowling! Round-of-8 match at the National Bowling Stadium Thursday evening to make his second consecutive GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX animal pattern ESPN finals telecast.

Pictured above from left: EJ Tackett, Brandon Novak, Jason Belmonte and Shawn Maldonado.

Bowling on the 42-foot PBA Scorpion lane oil pattern, the three-time PBA Player of the Year also made his 18th career WSOB telecast by beating rookie Raymond Lussier of Canada, 2-0 (235-189, 276-237).

Belmonte (right), a 15-time Tour winner which includes eight majors, qualified for the Cheetah Championship finals earlier Thursday with a 2-1 Round-of-8 win over Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y.

Belmonte, who also qualified second for the PBA World Championship finals earlier in WSOB IX, added to his PBA major win total earlier this season with wins in the Barbasol PBA Players Championship and 2017 United States Bowling Congress Masters.

The Scorpion Championship finals will be taped Saturday by ESPN at 6 p.m. PT at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, Nevada, and live streamed on ESPN3. The finals will air on ESPN Dec. 24 at 2 p.m. ET.

In addition to being part of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Reno Resorts Properties, the Scorpion Championship is also part of the 2017-18 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule.

Defending PBA Player of the Year EJ Tackett (left) of Huntington, Ind., made his first WSOB IX finals appearance by beating qualifying leader Arturo Quintero of Mexico 2-1 (220-157, 188-247, 205-176). Tackett, an eight-time Tour winner, will be trying for his third Tour win of the season.

Brandon Novak (right) of Chillicothe, Ohio, made his second consecutive Scorpion Championship finals appearance by beating Matt McNiel of Minneapolis, Minn., 2-1 (199-205, 279-237, 223-196). In 2016 Novak finished fourth in the WSOB Scorpion Championship.

Rounding out the Scorpion Championship finals telecast will be Shawn Maldonado (left) of Houston who swept England’s Dom Barrett, 2-0 (234-232, 225-206).

All animal pattern championship ESPN finals telecasts (Chameleon, Shark, Cheetah and Scorpion) will use a format where the four finalists simultaneously bowl one game on the same pair of lanes with the top two scorers advancing to a head-to-head final match.

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2017 PBA Tour Schedule & Champions

PBA Scorpion Championship – Round of 16

Best-of-five games, winners advance to round of 8, losers earn $1,200.

Arturo Quintero, Mexico, def. Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., 3-2
(228-219, 171-216, 219-214, 206-267, 236-223)
Brandon Novak, Chillicothe, Ohio, def. Devin Bidwell, Wichita, Kan., 3-2
(213-225, 213-193, 258-227, 208-236, 265-235)
Jason Belmonte, Australia, def. Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa., 3-1
(247-223, 206-235, 248-230, 238-220)
Shawn Maldonado, Houston, def. BJ Moore III, Greensburg, Pa., 3-1
(289-224, 246-239, 187-248, 290-231)
Dom Barrett, England, def. Kyle Sherman, O’Fallon, Mo., 3-1
(246-247, 221-198, 247-214, 212-204)
Raymond Lussier, Canada, def. Zeke Bayt, Westerville, Ohio, 3-1
(234-226, 225-224, 218-223, 257-190)
Matthew McNiel, Minneapolis, Minn., def. Brian LeClair, Albany, N.Y., 3-2
(234-174, 186-189, 200-211, 216-161, 247-201)
EJ Tackett, Huntington, Ind., def. Stuart Williams, England, 3-0
(247-237, 254-219, 235-211)

PBA Scorpion Championship – Round of 8

Best-of-three games, winners advance to ESPN-taped finals Saturday at 6 p.m. PT. ESPN telecast Dec. 24 at 2 p.m. ET. Losers earn $2,000.

Tackett def. Quintero, 2-1
(220-157, 188-247, 205-176)
Novak def. McNiel, 2-1
(199-205, 279-237, 223-196)
Belmonte def. Lussier, 2-0
(235-189, 276-237)
Maldonado def. Barrett, 2-0
(234-232, 225-206)

Herbert Bickel

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