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.