Aussie’s Lead the World to Victory Against the USA

By Chris Rushton
March 25, 2019

Australia’s Jason Belmonte and Sam Cooley were part of The World team who defeated the USA, 2-0, in a best-of-three Baker team format which concluded a week of PBA competition at Thunderbowl Lanes in Detroit on Friday (local time).

After Belmonte and Cooley finished in the top five leading international scorers from the PBA World Series of Bowing X, the duo qualified for the team to compete against the top five finishers from the USA.  

The World team, which also included Pontus Andersson (Sweden), Andres Gomez (Colombia) and Dom Barrett (England) defeated the U.S. team of Bill O’Neill, Kyle Sherman, Tom Daugherty, Anthony Simonsen and EJ Tackett, to end the U.S.’s two-year reign as champion of the non-title WSOB “all-star” event.

The U.S. team, captained by PBA Hall of Famer Marshall Holman, jumped out to the lead in the first game of the second match 184-176 but The World team, captained by Hall of Famer Amleto Monacelli, came back to win the second game 204-156 to force a sudden death one-ball roll-off.  Belmonte, who was coming off a historic PBA World Championship win Thursday, won the roll-off against Tackett with a nine-count to seven for Tackett, who left the 2-8-10 split, for the title.

In the first match, the U.S. team also took the early lead, winning the first game 234-227 but then lost to The World team in the second game 213-202 to force another one-ball roll-off.  Belmonte and Tackett tied with strikes in the first roll-off frame with a strike, forcing a second roll-off where Barrett struck to beat Simonsen’s eight-count (2-10 split) to give The World team a 1-0 lead heading into the second match.

The Baker format requires each player to bowl two frames in one game to combine for one score.  The leadoff bowler bowls frame one and six, the second bowler frames two and seven and so on until the anchor bowler bowls frame five and 10.

“It’s another great example of showcasing the international scope of the sport and the talent that exists all over the world,” Belmonte said of the event. “I felt good about this team because we bowl against each other all over the world so I knew we could develop a good chemistry right away.  Like all team competitions, the key is communication between the players,” Belmonte added.  “We share what we experience on every shot, then it’s up to each player to execute.”

Monacelli, a 20-time PBA Tour and eight-time PBA50 Tour winner, who is also coach for the Dominican Republic national team, echoed Belmonte’s comments as a coach for the highly talented World team.

“They know what to do as far as their physical game is concerned,” Monacelli said. “What’s important is putting together a good order (lineup).  I try to help with the mental side and give them another pair of eyes to see what is happening with the lanes and their games.  What the eyes can’t see, the body feels so I try to get them to connect with that feel so they can trust in the decisions they make.”

The players earned berths on their respective teams based on their finishing positions after 30 qualifying games from the 10-game qualifying rounds of the WSOB X Cheetah, Chameleon and Scorpion events.

Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.,

Final Results
(Winning team determined in pair of best-of-three Baker format team matches)

The World def. USA, 2-0

Match One
Game One – USA (Bill O’Neill, Kyle Sherman, Tom Daugherty, Anthony Simonsen and EJ Tackett) def. The World (Pontus Andersson, Andres Gomez, Dom Barrett, Sam Cooley and Jason Belmonte), 234-227

Game Two – The World def. USA, 213-202
The World wins in second roll-off frame 10-8

Match Two
Game One – USA def. The World, 184-176

Game Two – The World def. USA, 204-156

The World wins in first roll-off frame 9-7 for title.

Article and photo courtesy of