Tokyo Port Bowl, Tokyo, Japan, Sep 10-14, 1987
Monacelli Dominates Japan
It took traveling to another hemisphere but Amleto Monacelli, the Venezuelan with seven career Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) runnerup finishes, notched his first PBA championship in the Japan Cup. For good measure, Monacelli added a second, unofficial title, in Sendai, Japan, where he bested the 16-man PBA contingent in a separate event.
Monacelli downed home country favorite Takeo Sakai, Osaka, 248-201, in the third annual Japan Cup at Tokyo Port Bowl for the $11,000 top prize as well as a berth in the 1988 Firestone Tournament of Champions. The 26 year-old Monacelli put together six straight strikes beginning in the third frame to open up a sizeable lead and ultimately overcome the "bridesmaid" stigma that had been attached to him after so many near-misses on the PBA Tour.
As the top-seed, Monacelli viewed from the sidelines as Japanese television focused on the five-game, six-bowler, stepladder finals. Mike Aulby began the championship round by overwhelming Tom Baker, 280-181. His momentum carried over to the next match as Aulby began with eight straight strikes in routing defending champion Pete Weber, 267-197.
Aulby needed the first strike in the 10th frame to advance past third seeded Sakai, but an open frame resulted in a 235-213 win for the high Japanese qualifier among the field of 16 PBA Tour players and 16 local qualifiers from JPBA.
Sakai next took advantage of three open frames by Sweden's Mats Karlsson to prevail in the semifinal contest, 204-165. With Monacelli, Sakai, Karlsson and Aulby finishing first through fourth, the top of the standings was represented by bowlers from four different continents.
Monacelli and the other top Japan Cup PBA players maintained their domination in the Land of the Rising Sun at Sendai, some 320 miles north of Tokyo. In a 16-game match play tournament followed by a top three stepladder finals, Monacelli got past Karlsson, 218-211, when Karlsson left a "blowout" 7-10 split in the 10th frame. Monacelli then went on to down Aulby, 211-182, to add an additional $2,500 to his earnings for the trip.
PLAYOFF RESULTS - Aulby defeated Baker, 280-181; Aulby defeated Weber, 267-197; Sakai defeated Aulby, 235-213; Sakai defeated Karlsson, 204-165; and in the championship game, Monacelli defeated Sakai, 248-201. 32-GAME TOTALS # - Mark Baker and John Gant rolled 300 games ($357 each). PRO-AM CASHERS - Randy Pedersen ($100), Brian Voss, Amleto Monacelli, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Mark Baker ($50 each).
# - Mark Baker and John Gant rolled 300 games ($357 each). PRO-AM CASHERS - Randy Pedersen ($100), Brian Voss, Amleto Monacelli, Walter Ray Williams Jr. and Mark Baker ($50 each).