Belmo, Simo Look To Avoid Upset Bug At PBA Playoffs

PORTLAND, Maine – The two highest remaining seeds in the PBA Playoffs will be featured tonight as the quarterfinals get underway.

With just eight players left in the bracket, top seed Jason Belmonte takes on Kris Prather, while fourth seed Anthony Simonsen will battle Andres Gomez. The winners will advance to the live semifinals on June 1.

Tonight’s show airs at 9 p.m. Eastern and will be broadcast for U.S. audiences on FS1, while international fans can watch on FloBowling.

Here are the two matches for tonight’s PBA Playoffs show:

No. 1 Jason Belmonte vs. No. 9 Kris Prather

While there have been plenty of upsets thus far in the PBA Playoffs, Belmonte, the PBA Tour’s top-ranked player, managed to avoid getting knocked out in the Round of 16.

Belmonte got a tough test from Kyle Troup but won the match 2-1. Troup has his shot to take down Belmonte, needing a double in the final frame of the tiebreaker. A devastating pocket nine pin ended his hopes and allowed Belmonte to advance.

The clear frontrunner for 2019 PBA Player of the Year, Belmonte won the PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA World Championship and PBA Chameleon Championship heading into the PBA Playoffs to go along with two second-place finishes. Since this show was taped, he won the DHC PBA Japan Invitational for his fourth win of the season. 

Prather, meanwhile, has had to battle in two rounds to get to this point and has looked very good in doing so. He defeated Darren Tang 207-183 in the Round of 24 and then destroyed eighth seed Tom Daugherty, 2-0, in the Round of 16.

Prather has been one of the steadiest players on tour and hasn’t finished lower than 38th all season long. He finally got the monkey off his back and won his first career title at the PBA Scorpion Championship.

No. 4 Anthony Simonsen vs. No. 21 Andres Gomez

Simonsen is the second-highest seed remaining after No. 2 Jakob Butturff and No. 3 Norm Duke were the victim of upsets in the Round of 16.

The two-handed Texan defeated Rhino Page, 2-1, in the previous round in a tough battle. Simonsen won the first game 237-214 and Page returned the favor with a 226-214 win in Game 2 to force the tiebreaker.

Page had his chance to advance, needing three strikes in the final frame of the ninth and 10th frame tiebreaker but stuffed a seven pin to lose 49-39. 

Simonsen hasn’t had the most consistent season, but he did win his second career major at the PBA Players Championship. He also finished second at the PBA Jonesboro Open and seventh at the USBC Masters.

Way back on April 8, Gomez began his run at the PBA Playoffs with a very easy 236-199 victory over No. 12 Dick Allen. In the Round of 16, Gomez pulled off a stunning 2-0 win over No. 5 EJ Tackett.

Earlier this year, Gomez had a chance to win his fourth career title at the PBA Chameleon Championship but couldn’t find a way to take down Belmonte in the title match. He also finished seventh at the PBA Tournament of Champions and 18th at the Masters.

Wilkins Survives 'Impossible' Day To Lead U.S. Open

LINCOLN, Neb. – On a day when the bowlers described the pattern as “impossible” and “miserable,” Zach Wilkins found a way to make it to the top of the leaderboard at the U.S. Open.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Prather Peaking At Right Time, Leads U.S. Open

LINCOLN, Neb. – It’s still early at the U.S. Open but combined with his performance at the past two majors, it appears Kris Prather is hitting his stride at the perfect time this season.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Johnson Tops 108-Player Field After Round 1 At U.S. Open

LINCOLN, Neb. – Bowling on what he thought was the most scorable of the qualifying patterns this week, AJ Johnson knew it was imperative to get off to a strong start at the U.S. Open.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Stremmel: USBC's Urethane Test Explained And What's Next

In the early 1970s, due to a surge in bowling ball technology, the equipment specification department at the American Bowling Congress tested the hardness of bowling balls.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Pattern Breakdown: What You Need To Know About The U.S. Open Patterns

It’s another week in February, and it’s another major. The 2020 U.S. Open will be contested on four different patterns this week ranging from 37 feet to 44 feet.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Column: Urethane Tests Reveal No Intentional Cheating

LINCOLN, Neb. – With rumors and speculation flying around for weeks, the United States Bowling Congress did a field test Sunday and Monday at the U.S. Open on urethane bowling balls. And it’s plain to see there was no intentional cheating happening.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Urethane Test Ongoing At U.S. Open, Ryan Details His Experience

LINCOLN, Neb. – As the U.S. Open got underway with practice on Monday, players continued to deal with the process of every urethane ball being checked by the United States Bowling Congress.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Belmo's TV Issues Are Deeper Than A Slump

Jason Belmonte has been struggling on television. That feels like a weird sentence to write, but it’s probably just as weird to read.

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

USBC To Check Every Urethane Ball Before U.S. Open

NOTE: The urethane tests have concluded. To watch Jakob Butturff go through the process, click here.

U.S. Open Offers Grueling Test This Week

It’s already been a tough stretch of five consecutive weeks to open the 2020 PBA Tour season, but the challenge becomes even more intense as the players head to Lincoln, Nebraska, for the U.S. Open.