Azcona, Tackett Upset Higher Seeds to Advance to Kia PBA Playoffs Quarterfinals
Milford, Conn.—Cristian Azcona, the No. 15 seed, and 10th-seeded EJ Tackett advanced to the Kia PBA Playoffs quarterfinals by defeating No. 2 seed Chris Via and No. 7 seed Kris Prather, respectively. In a race-to-two-points format, Azcona swept Via in two games, while Tackett and Prather split their set, forcing a ninth-and-10th-frame roll-off to break the tie.
Azcona, who became the first player born in Puerto Rico to win a PBA Tour title when he won the 2018 PBA Wilmington Open, faced a tough battle with Via in the first game. Through eight frames, both players had six strikes and two spares. In the ninth, Via failed to convert the 3-6-10 for the only open frame by either player in the game. Azcona rolled the back four strikes, giving him a total of 10 strikes in the game and a 258-226 victory.
The story was similar in game two. Both players struck or spared in each of the first eight frames, but a 4-10 spilt in the ninth for Via was again the only open frame for either player and again the difference in the game. Azcona rolled the back three strikes for a 238-215 win, ousting the 2021 U.S. Open champion in a two-point sweep.
13-time PBA Tour champion Tackett built an insurmountable lead by putting up the first six strikes against 2019 PBA Playoffs champion Kris Prather, who opened twice in as many frames. Tackett cruised to a 267-170 win.
In the second game, Prather took the early lead before Tackett fought back, keeping the score within a few pins after nine frames. In the 10th, Tackett left a 2-8-10 split, picking up two pins for an open frame and a final score of 188. Prather finished with 205, forcing the roll-off.
Prather, as the higher seed, opted for Tackett to begin the roll-off on the left lane. After a strike from Tackett, Prather left and converted a 2-4-8 combination in the ninth, then left a 2-8-10 of his own in the 10th. Tackett filled 18 pins in his half of the 10th to take a 38-26 win and advance to the quarterfinals, in which he’ll face Azcona.
The Kia PBA Playoffs Round of 16 continues tomorrow at 7 p.m. ET on Fox Sports’ FS1 and will feature Tom Daugherty versus Jason Sterner and Jesper Svensson taking on Sam Cooley.
The winner of the PBA Playoffs will receive a PBA Tour title, $100,000 and an official WWE championship title belt.
Viewers can live stream the PBA on the FOX Sports and FOX NOW apps or at FOXSports.com. Select highlights will be available on @FOXSports social handles across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. International fans can watch live on FloBowling.com.
Round of 16 Results (Saturday, Apr. 24 on FS1)
Bowlero Milford, Milford, Conn.
No. 1 Kyle Troup def. No. 16 Andrew Anderson, 2-1
Game 1 – Troup def. Anderson, 234-233
Game 2 – Anderson def. Troup, 225-212
Roll-off – Troup def. Anderson, 58-26
No. 9 Thomas Larsen def. No. 8 Anthony Simonsen, 2-0
Game 1 – Larsen def. Simonsen, 244-238
Game 2 – Larsen def. Simonsen, 279-224
Round of 16 Results (Sunday, Apr. 25 on FS1)
No. 4 François Lavoie def. No. 13 Dick Allen, 2-1
Game 1 – Lavoie def. Allen, 266-185
Game 2 – Allen def. Lavoie, 258-238
Roll-off – Lavoie def. Allen, 59-50
No. 12 Bill O’Neill def. No. 5 Jakob Butturff, 2-1
Game 1 – Butturff def. O’Neill, 257-193
Game 2 – O’Neill def. Butturff, 227-222
Roll-off – O’Neill def. Butturff, 49-39
Round of 16 Results (Saturday, May 1 at 11:30 a.m. ET on FS1)
No. 15 Cristian Azcona def. No. 2 Chris Via, 2-0
Game 1 – Azcona def. Via, 258-226
Game 2 – Azcona def. Via, 238-215
No. 10 EJ Tackett def. No. 7 Kris Prather, 2-1
Game 1 – Tackett def. Prather, 267-170
Game 2 – Prather def. Tackett, 205-188
Roll-off – Tackett def. Prather, 38-26
Round of 16 (Sunday, May 2 at 7 p.m. ET on FS1)
No. 3 Tom Daugherty vs. No. 14 Jason Sterner
No. 6 Jesper Svensson vs. No. 11 Sam Cooley
Quarterfinals (Sunday, May 9 at noon ET on FS1)
No. 1 Kyle Troup vs. No. 9 Thomas Larsen
No. 4 François Lavoie vs. No. 12 Bill O’Neill
Quarterfinals (Monday, May 10 at 8 p.m. ET on FS1)
No. 10 EJ Tackett vs. No. 15 Cristian Azcona
Daugherty/Sterner vs. Svensson/Cooley
Semifinals (Saturday, May 15 at 11 a.m. ET on FS1)
To be determined after quarterfinals
Kia PBA Playoffs Championship (Sunday, May 16 at 2 p.m. ET on FOX)
To be determined after semifinals
About the PBA
The Professional Bowlers Association (PBA) is the world’s preeminent organization dedicated to the sport of bowling and its professional competition, with thousands of members and millions of fans throughout the world. The PBA plays host to bowling’s biggest tournaments from the PBA Tour, PBA Regional Tour, and PBA50 Tour. In 2020, the PBA launched PBA Jr., a club for elite youth bowlers under the age of 17 and the PBA Pinsiders, a membership for fans of the sport. For more information, please visit PBA.com.