Thursday, January 3, 2019

Monacelli Leaves Ebonite, Returns To Brunswick

Monacelli, a 20-time PBA Tour champion and PBA Hall of Famer, confirmed to FloBowling today is the first day of a new two-year contract with Brunswick. The native of Venezuela had been with Ebonite since 2012.

Amleto Monacelli has left Ebonite and signed with Brunswick in a move that bolsters Brunswick’s already deep roster of legendary PBA stars.

At Brunswick, Monacelli, 57, joins PBA Hall of Famers Johnny Petraglia, Parker Bohn III, and Walter Ray Williams Jr. to create a world-class team of bowling’s biggest stars.

“I’m really grateful to Ebonite for their support through the years and extremely happy to be with Brunswick,” Monacelli said. “In the back of my mind, I always wanted to finish my career with Brunswick because I had some of my best years with them.”

Monacelli joined Brunswick in 1988 and left in 1996 but during that stretch, he won 15 of his PBA titles. He also won both of his PBA Player of the Year awards (1989, 1990) while on staff with Brunswick.

“My first contract was with Brunswick when Johnny Petraglia brought me in,” Monacelli said. “They did my green card and helped me with the process to become legal to stay in the United States. To me, that was a big thing and it meant a lot those years with Brunswick. I won more titles with them than anybody.”

Monacelli continues to be active on both the PBA Tour and the PBA50 Tour. His most recent PBA Tour title came in 2016 at the DHC PBA Japan Invitational. He has also won eight PBA50 titles, including four majors, since turning 50 seven years ago.

During the 2018 U.S. Open, Monacelli made news when he was excluded from the exempt list from the event and was forced to bowl the qualifier. He went on to advance to not only advance through the qualifier but made the first cut and narrowly missed match play, finishing in 28thplace.

Three Jump From Storm, Roto Grip To EBI

Ebonite International has signed AJ Johnson, Shawn Maldonado and Keven Williams away from Storm and Roto Grip heading into the 2019 PBA Tour season.

Ebonite Marketing Manager Rob Gotchall tells FloBowling all three signed two-year deals. Johnson will represent the Ebonite brand, Maldonado will represent Hammer and Williams will represent Columbia 300.

Watch the 2019 PBA Hall of Fame Classic starting this Thursday LIVE on FloBowling

Although he has yet to win a PBA title, Johnson, 26, is considered a rising star on the tour. He’s a four-time member of Team USA and helped the United States win the gold medal in team event at the 2017 World Championships.

Johnson has several second-place finishes on the PBA Tour, including finishing runner-up at the 2015 USBC Masters in his first year on tour. As the top seed, Johnson lost in the championship match to Jason Belmonte, 202-157.

A two-hander from Houston, Maldonado, 32, joined the PBA Tour in 2013 and has more than $227,000 in earnings over that stretch. He finished fifth in the Mark Roth-Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship with DJ Archer for his best finish in 2018.

One of Maldonado’s biggest career finishes came at the 2016 U.S. Open, when he finished third. Maldonado lost in the semifinal match after eventual champion Francois Lavoie fired a 300 game at him.

Williams, 25, a hard-throwing two-handed lefty, made his first career championship round appearance in 2018, losing to Marshall Kent, 218-210, in the semifinal of the Go Bowling! 60thAnniversary Classic.

Top Rookie Doyle Switches To Storm From Ebonite

After winning the 2018 PBA Rookie of the Year award, Kamron Doyle has
decided to make a big move for 2019, leaving Ebonite International and signing a multi-year deal with Storm.

Doyle, 20, signed his first career contract with Ebonite three years ago but told FloBowling on Tuesday he decided to make the move to Storm, signing a two-year deal.

In his first full season on tour, Doyle earned top rookie honors after cashing in seven of 15 events. His best finish in 2018 was third at the Gene Carter’s Pro Shop Classic.

“This was definitely one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever made and making that phone call to Ebonite was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” Doyle said. “Storm balls generally are more of the shape I like to see, and I feel like it’s going to give me a lot more confidence (in) making decisions and bowling in general.”

Watch the 2019 PBA Hall of Fame Classic starting this Thursday LIVE on FloBowling

Storm Vice President of Business Development Gary Hulsenberg told FloBowling Doyle’s move wasn’t about money.

“The truth is, just like other professional sports, professional bowlers usually change brands or teams for more money,” Hulsenberg said. “This isn’t the case with Kam. He grew up having a lot of success with Storm equipment but then got offered money as a college student to use another brand and took it. We’ve kept our relationship intact and now he is choosing to come back to the brand he had so much success with. We are happy to welcome him to Team Storm and can’t wait to help him win.”

Doyle knows the learning curve will be steep switching balls immediately before heading into the new season, which begins Thursday with the 2019 PBA Hall of Fame Classic.

“I think this was the big next step I had to take for me to be successful,” Doyle said. “It might take a couple tournaments for me to get used to the new balls, but I think in the long run it’s going to be better for me.”

Doyle’s entrance into the PBA Tour had been hyped for years. In 2010, he made huge news when, at age 12, he set the record for the youngest bowler in history to cash in a PBA regional. A couple years later as an eighth grader, Doyle cashed in one of the toughest bowling tournaments in the world, the U.S. Open.