Ronnie Russell Advances to the PBA Carmen Salvino Classic Finals at the World Series of Bowling

LAS VEGAS, Nev. – Andres Gomez of Colombia averaged 249.4 Monday to lead four players who qualified for the finals of the PBA Carmen Salvino Classic at South Point Bowling Center, and Australia’s Jason Belmonte ended Sean Rash’s bid for a record sixth straight television appearance by six pins.

Gomez, who is trying for his first PBA Tour title, finished with a 4,490 18-game pinfall total and had games of 229, 239, 223, 237, 257 and 243 in Monday’s final six-game round to qualify for his second TV final of the World Series of Bowling.

“It hasn’t been until the last few years that I’ve been able to take advantage of high scoring conditions,” said Gomez, whose best finishes on Tour have been a second in last season’s Viper Championship and a fourth in the 2011 PBA Tournament of Champions. “I’ve been getting a better ball reaction by working on the angles you need to score on easier conditions.”

Gomez, who has already qualified for the PBA World Championship finals which will be taped by ESPN on Saturday beginning 10:30 a.m. PT, said his success was because he was able to make only slight adjustments throughout all three rounds.

“As the rounds went on it got a little tougher,” Gomez said. “But I was able to use the same ball and just had to make small adjustments on the lane and with my speed to make sure I had the good angle into the pocket.”

Also advancing to the Carmen Salvino final was Belmonte, who qualified for his fourth World Series of Bowling telecast by finishing fourth with a 4,253 pinfall total to edge Rash.

“It seemed like I had a good look the whole round but just couldn’t finish it off for a few games,” said Belmonte, who has one PBA Tour title. “In the last game I had to throw some of the best shots of my life.”

Also, making the Salvino final were six-time Tour champion Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, who finished second, 84 pins behind Gomez with 4,406 pins, and Ronnie Russell of Marion, Ind., who finished third with 4,361. Malott and Russell both reached their first TV final. Russell also is trying for his first PBA title.

The first 12 games also were part of Pepsi PBA Elite Players Championship qualifying for the 49 PBA Tour exempt players in the field. Their scores will carry over to Tuesday when the Elite Players Championship field will bowl two more six-game qualifying rounds. After 24 games, the top 32 players will advance to a fifth six-game qualifying round Wednesday morning.

After 30 games, the Elite Players field will be cut to the top 16 for three elimination bracket rounds that will trim the field to four finalists. Those same 16 players will become the field for the Lumber Liquidators Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship. Teams will be determined during a draft whereby the top qualifier will be first to select a partner. The No. 2 qualifier will then select his partner and so on until all eight teams are determined.

All competition through Wednesday will be covered live on PBA’s exclusive Xtra Frame online bowling channel. For subscription information, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame logo.

CARMEN SALVINO CLASSIC

South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas, Nov. 14

Final Qualifying Standings (after 18 games; top four advance to ESPN finals)

1, Andres Gomez, Colombia, 4,490.
2, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 4,406.
3, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind., 4,361.
4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, 4,253.

Jerry Schneider | PR/Media Relations
Professional Bowlers Association | 719 Second Avenue, Suite 701 | Seattle, WA 98104
jerry.schneider@pba.com | cell: (262) 366-2157