Defending Champion EJ Tackett Seeks Finals Berth Against Jason Belmonte in PBA Tour Finals’ Group 2 Semifinal Round Tuesday on CBS Sports Network
by Jerry Schneider | Thursday, June 07, 9:59 AM
ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Reigning PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte has already earned his spot in the PBA Tour Finals Championship match after winning the Group 1 semifinal round, and now he awaits his opponent. Next Tuesday (June 12) at 8 p.m. ET, defending PBA Tour Finals winner EJ Tackett will try to set up a re-match with Belmonte when the CBS Sports Network airs the Group 2 semifinal stepladder round.
After leading his four-player Group 2 in the positioning round portion of the PBA Tour Finals, Tackett, the 2016 PBA Player of the Year, enters the Group 2 stepladder round as top qualifier. If he wins the semifinal round, Tackett will face Belmonte in a title re-match on June 19 at 8 p.m. ET. Tackett won the inaugural PBA Tour Finals title in Orlando, Fla., last year defeating Belmonte, 666-628, in the three-game total pinfall match.
To earn the top rung in the Group 2 semifinal stepladder, Tackett posted a 912 four-game pinfall total on four different lane conditions, topping No. 2 qualifier Jesper Svensson, a seven-time tour winner, with 900 pins; four-time tour winner Marshall Kent (870) and 18-time tour titlist Tommy Jones (843). Kent and Jones will bowl a one-game match to start the round. The winner will meet Svensson in another one-game match, with that winner advancing to a best-of-two-game finale against Tackett.
In the first two positioning rounds, all eight players competed on the PBA’s Johnny Petraglia 36, Mark Roth 42, Don Carter 39 and Dick Weber 45 lane conditioning patterns (the numerical distinction refers to the distance in feet oil is applied to the lanes for each pattern). As top qualifiers in their respective groups, both Belmonte and Tackett selected the Weber condition for their semifinal rounds.
All eight PBA Tour Finals contestants earned their berths as leading money winners in Go Bowling! PBA Tour competition between 2016 and the first four months of 2018. Now Belmonte, the 2017 runner-up, is assured of another shot at the PBA Tour Finals title after sweeping Anthony Simonsen, 2-0, in the Group 1 semifinal round. Simonsen will face the loser of the Group 2 semifinal round in a match to decide third-place prior to the best-of-two-game title match on the June 19 telecast.
CBS Sports Network PBA Tour Finals Remaining Schedule
Thunderbowl, Allen Park, Mich. (all times Eastern)
June 12 – 8 p.m. - PBA Tour Finals Group 2 Semifinal
June 19 – 8 p.m. - PBA Tour Finals Championship