Six Lumber Liquidators PBA Tour competitors willjoin two Korean players in the eight-man championship round of the 25th DYDO Japan Cup Sunday at Tokyo Port Bowl.
In addition to PBA Tour champions Norm Duke of Clermont, FL; Brad Angelo of Lockport, NY; Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, SC, and Mike Fagan of Patchogue,NY, non-winners Dino Castillo of Carrollton, TX, and Chris Loschetter of Avon, OH, will compete for a first PBA Tour title. Also in the field, trying
to become Korea’s first Japan Cup titlist, will be Park Jeon-Soo and Choi WonYoung.
Sunday’s finals will begin with one-game, single-elimination matches pitting Park against Duke, Castillo against Loschetter, Angelo against Jones and Choi against Fagan. The Park-Duke winner will then bowl the Castillo-Loschetter winner and the Angelo-Jones winner will meet the Choi-Fagan winner to determine the two finalists who will bowl a single game for a $40,000 prize.
One of Saturday’s most impressive performances was put on by Duke, a 33-time PBA Tour champion who has never won in Japan. After qualifying 25th for the best-of-seven-game, single-elimination match play portion of the tournament, he rallied from a 3-2 deficit in the Round of 48 to eliminate Japan’s Satoshi Tsushima. He then eliminated four-time Japan Cup champion Parker Bohn III of Jackson, NJ, 4-1, in the Round of 32 and then averaged 259 in a four-game sweep over defending Japan Cup champion Patrick Allen of Wesley Chapel, FL, to reach the championship round.
“Because of the injuries I’ve had this year, I fell out of the Japan Cup points list for next season,” Duke said. “Given that I’ve never won in this country after as many opportunities as I’ve had before, it seems like it’s something that has been out of reach. A victory in this country is something I’ve often dreamed about, but also it would tie me with one of the greatest of all-time, Mark Roth, in titles. So in both cases, I have plenty to be nervous about going into tomorrow.
“Typically the left-handers have had an advantage at Tokyo Port Bowl and to see my bracket this morning it seemed impossible to beat Patrick or Parker,” Duke continued. “To win back-to-back against those two players, when they were so comfortable. There might some fate going on here.”
Castillo, on the other hand, hopes to become the third PBA player to win his first title in the Japan Cup. Jones won his first title in Japan in 2004 and Amleto Monacelli converted his first triumph in the 1987 Oronamin C Japan Cup into a PBA Hall of Fame career. He also has a chance to duplicate Steve Wilson (1996), Doug Kent (1997) and Robert Smith (2002-03) as the fourth player to win the Cup in his first appearance.
“Winning the Japan Cup and my first title would cap off the great season I had in 2008-09 (when he qualified for this year’s Japan Cup.) Winning my first title would cap off my career to this point and winning in Japan would mean that I represent the elite from PBA, Japan PBA and Korean PBA.
“It wouldn’t validate my PBA career, but it would validate my ability to succeed,” Castillo continued. “Obviously, as a kid, I always thought about winning my title. PBA bowlers have always set goals to win player of the year, majors, etc. My goals have always been to do the best I can and let the pieces
fall where they may.”
Either Castillo or Loschetter will see his title hopes end early Sunday because they will bowl each other in the Round of 8. Loschetter earned his shot by eliminating Mike Scroggins of Amarillo, Texas, 4-2, in Saturday’s final elimination round.
Korea’s Park ended 2009-10 PBA Player of the Year Walter Ray Williams Jr.’s hopes for a third Japan Cup title, 4-2, but countryman Choi put on the day’s top performance, firing consecutive games of 278, 300 and 298 – an 876 total - in his last three games of a 4-1 victory over Japan’s Minoru Sendan.
DYDO JAPAN CUP
Tokyo Port Bowl, Tokyo, Japan, April 24
ROUND OF 16 (best of seven games, losers eliminated and earned $3,000, top eight
advance to championship round)
Park Jeon-Soo, Korea, def. Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla., 4-2.
Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla., def. Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 4-0.
Dino Castillo, Carrollton, Texas, def. Hiroshi Nagatani, Japan, 4-1.
Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio, def. Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas, 4-2.
Brad Angelo, Lockport, N.Y., def. Hideyuki Okano, Japan, 4-0.
Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C., def. Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind., 4-1.
Choi Won Young, Korea, def. Minoru Sendan, Japan, 4-1.
Mike Fagan, Patchogue, N.Y., def. Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas, 4-2.
ROUND OF 32 (best of seven games, losers eliminated and earned $2,000)
Park def. Hideaki Aizawa, Japan, 4-2.
Williams def. Shota Kawazoe, Japan, 4-2.
Allen def. Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla., 4-2.
Duke def. Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., 4-1.
Castillo def. Takashi Madusa, Japan, 4-0.
Nagatani def. Kim Young-Phil, Korea, 4-1.
Scroggins def. Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo., 4-2.
Loschetter def. Bill O’Neill, Southampton, Pa., 4-2.
Okano def. Isao Yamamoto, Japan, 4-3.
Angelo def. Takaski Kudo, Japan, 4-1.
McCune def. Sigeyuki Mizuno, Japan, 4-3.
Jones def. Akio Harada, Japan, 4-2.
Choi def. Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., 4-0.
Sendan def. Akio Ishihara, Japan, 4-1.
Fagan def. Ronnie Russell, Indianapolis, 4-2.
Malott def. Mika Koivuniemi, Hartland, Mich., 4-1.
ROUND OF 64 (best of seven games, losers eliminated and earned $1,250)
Park def. Kenji Tsushima, Japan, 4-0.
Kawazoe def. Yuji Toyoda, Japan, 4-0.
Page def. Takaski Ishibashi, Japan, 4-2.
Duke def. Satoshi Tsushima, Japan, 4-3.
Masuda def. Jeong Tae-Hwa, Korea, 4-0.
Nagatani def. Kang Seong-Yu, Korea, 4-3.
Scroggins def. Takeo Sakai, Japan, 4-2.
Loschetter def. Shunsuke Kouchi, Japan, 4-0.
Yamamoto def. Subaru Nagano, Japan, 4-3.
Angelo def. Yoshiki Ohsawa, Japan, 4-1.
Mizuno def. Tamiki Miike, Japan, 4-3.
Harada def. Masaaki Takemoto, Japan, 4-0.
Choi def. Kazuaki Watanabe, Japan, 4-0.
Sendan def. Naoharu Okabe, Japan, 4-3.
Fagan def. Kenji Ito, Japan, 4-2.
Koivuniemi def. Teruyuki Obara, Japan, 4-1.