Teshima, Mukotani emerge as NHK Cup 48th Japan All-Star Invitational Championships winners



    JFE Chiba River Lanes in Chiba-Shi, Chiba-Ken (May 9-11, 2014)

     Former Japan national team member Daichi Teshima (pictured left) of Nagasaki and Misaki Mukotani (right) of Chiba emerged as men's and women's champion in the live TV championship matches of the NHK Cup 48th Japan All-Star Invitational Championships to earn Japan's most prestigious individual bowling titles.

    It was the first victory in the Japan All-Star Championships for Teshima and the second for current national team member Mukotani after winning in 2010.

    Click image for larger view.

    251 players, 142 men and 109 women, participated in Japan's most significant individual championships, which were held from May 9-1, 2014 at JFE Chiba River Lanes, a 64-laner with Brunswick wooden lanes in Chiba-Shi, Chiba-Ken, Japan.

    Only previous champions, Japan national team and youth national team members, bowlers who have represented Japan in World Tenpin Bowling Association (WTBA) or Asian Bowling Federation (ABF) championships, prize winners of Japan Bowling Congress (JBC) championships and bowlers who have bowled more than 1,000 games in JBC sanctioned tournaments within the previous year are qualified for the event.

    The men's and women's champions are considered the best bowlers in Japan.

    All players bowled nine games of qualifying with the top 40 men and the top 28 women advancing to the semifinals. Following another six games, the top 12 division leaders with the highest 15-game total qualified for the final round.

    Those 12 bowled another six-game block to cut to the top four men and the top four women for the championship round. All four players bowled a one-game grand final elimination match with the top two players advancing to the championship match broadcasted live on NHK.

     Teshima fired a 253 game in the men's eliminator to easily advance to the title match. 2006 champion Tomoyuki Sasaki of Kanagawa earned the second spot with 201, just one pin ahead of Yuhi Shinbata of Tokyo, who had to settle for third place with 200.

    Shogo Wada of Wakayama, who rolled one of four 300 games in the men's division (Yuta Takagi, Mie; Iwao Mori, Shizuoka; and Takahiro Sato, IBAJ, were the others), finished fourth with 186. It was second consecutive third and fourth place finish for Shinbata and Wada.

    Teshima fired another big game in the championship match to fly past Sasaki, 244-199, and to seal the victory.

    Pictured right are the top six men. Click image for larger view.

     The women's eliminator match was an even closer affair than the men's. Teshima's wife, Natsuki Teshima, posted a 227 game to beat out Mukotani for the No. 1 seed, by one pin. With 226, Mukotani was just two pins better than Mitsuki Okamoto of Fukuoka, who toppled 224 pins.

    Okamoto, who earned the women's High Series award with 782 and tied Futaba Imai of Nagasaki for the High Game award with 289, finished the championships in third place. Kaori Yamanaka of Saitama posted 194 to land in fourth place.

    Pictured left are the top six women. Click image for larger view.

     In the women's championship match, Mukotani denied the Teshima couple (pictured right with the gold and silver medal; click image for larger view) a clean sweep, defeating her opponent, 213-185, to capture her second NHK Cup.

    The NHK Cup 48th Japan All-Star Invitational Championships was the 26th event since the Japan Broadcasting Corporation NHK (Nihon Hoso Kyokai), a quasi-national broadcasting corporation, granted the Cup. Both championship matches, men and women, are live-broadcasted nationwide by NHK every year.

    This is the only bowling tournament that is broadcasted live in Japan. The championship rounds were re-broadcasted by NHK's satellite TV one week later in a two-hour program.


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    NHK Cup 48th Japan All-Star Invitational Championships - Men's Division

     Championship Round:
    1. Daichi Teshima, Nagasaki, 497 (2 games)
    2. Tomoyuki Sasaki, Kanagawa, 400 (2 games)
    3. Yuhi Shinbata, Tokyo, 200 (1 game)
    4. Shogo Wada, Wakayama, 186 (1 game)

    Did not advance after 21 games:
    5. Shota Tsukagoshi IBAJ, 4,765
    6. Hiroki Murahama Okinawa, 4,686

    Top 6 men from left to right. Click image for larger view.

    Playoff Results:
    Grand Final Eliminator Match: Teshima (253), Sasaki (201), Shinbata (200), Wada (186)
    Teshima and Sasaki advance.
    Championship Match: Teshima def. Sasaki, 244-199.


    NHK Cup 48th Japan All-Star Invitational Championships - Women's Division

     Championship Round:
    1. Misaki Mukotani, Chiba, 439 (2 games)
    2. Natsuki Teshima, Nagasaki, 412 (2 games)
    3. Mitsuki Okamoto, Fukuoka, 224 (1 game)
    4. Kaori Yamanaka, Saitama, 194 (1 game)

    Did not advance after 21 games:
    5. Futaba Imai, Nagasaki, 4,408
    6. Masae Nakasone, Okinawa, 4,402

    Top 6 women from left to right. Click image for larger view.

    Playoff Results:
    Grand Final Eliminator Match: Teshima (227), Mukotani (226), Okamoto (224), Yamanaka (194)
    Teshima and Mukotani advance.
    Championship Match: Mukotani def. Teshima, 213-185.


    High Game/High Series Awards

     Women High Game Award:
    289 - Mitsuki Okamoto (left), Fukuoka and Futaba Imai (right), Nagasaki

    Women High Series Award:
    782 - Mitsuki Okamoto, Fukuoka

    Click image for larger view.


     Men High Game Award:
    300 - Yuta Takagi, Mie; Iwao Mori, Shizuoka; Takahiro Sato, IBAJ; Shogo Wada, Wakayama (from left to right)

    Men High Series Award:
    773 - Riku Masui, Ibaraki (right)

    Click image for larger view.