One of the great long-standing traditions of the PBA Tour has been its annual trip across the Pacific to Tokyo for the Round1 Japan Cup. The tradition continues after a two-season absence when the finals of the 26th classic airs on ESPN Sunday, Jan. 20 at 3 p.m. ET from Round1 Stadium Diver City Tokyo Plaza.
Leading the contingent of 20 invited PBA Tour players, who battled against 123
Japan and Korean PBA members in qualifying and match play rounds at the Minami Suna Round1 Bowling Center in December, was 13-time Tour winner and Japan Cup defending champion Tommy Jones trying for his fourth Japan Cup title.
Joining Jones in Japan were PBA stars Chris Barnes, Dom Barrett, Jason Belmonte, Josh Blanchard, Ryan Ciminelli, Norm Duke, Mike Fagan, Mika Koivuniemi, Wes Malott, Amleto Monacelli, Rhino Page, Osku Palermaa, Sean Rash, Bill O’Neill, Ryan Shafer, Pete Weber, Stuart Williams, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and 2013 PBA World Championship winner Parker Bohn III.
Bohn will be looking to add another Japan Cup title to his record four wins
which included three consecutive championships in 1998, 1999 and 2000. Weber, Monacelli, Barnes, Koivuniemi and W.R. Williams, competing in his 26th
consecutive Japan Cup, are also past winners of the tournament.
The Japanese and Korean players will be trying to break the winning streak by
U.S. Tour players in the tournament of 21 consecutive titles dating back to the
1989 event won by Randy Pedersen. Ken Taniguchi and Takeo Sakai are the only Japanese winners taking titles in 1985 and 1988, respectively.