Ciminelli Out-Strikes Pepe to Win Third Title in PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open

by Gianmarc Manzione 0

Ryan Ciminelli

LAS VEGAS – Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., struck on 10 of 12 shots to defeat top qualifier Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, N.Y., 269-211, in the title match of the PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open Thursday at South Point Bowling Plaza.

In winning the duel of New York lefthanders, Ciminelli picked up his third career title and first since the 2013 PBA Chameleon Championship. It was a big disappointment for Pepe who had led the tournament from the first round, qualifying first for the stepladder finals by 370 pins over Ciminelli.

“It’s so hard to win a tournament twice, and leading by 370 pins…man, I’ve been there,” Ciminelli said. “I know what it feels like. I thought he was a little nervous and I tried to show a little emotion, and get after him. That’s just part of competition.”

In the first match, Ciminelli’s boyhood idol, 52-year-old PBA Hall of Famer Parker Bohn III of Jackson, N.J., put together a string of four strikes, but got help when Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa., left the 2-10 and 4-5 splits, opening in the fifth and eighth frames to give Bohn a comfortable cushion in his 215-200 victory. He then started the second match with seven strikes and ran away from Australia’s Jason Belmonte, who left three 10 pins in the first five frames, 253-210.

Bohn’s bid for his 35th career title and sole possession of fifth place on the PBA’s all-time titles list (he currently is tied with Mark Roth) came to an end in the semifinal match when Ciminelli followed a missed split conversion in the first frame with a string of five strikes on his way to a 234-190.

“It’s funny because when Parker bowls good, I seem to bowl bad. When Parker bowls bad, I bowl good, because of the differences in our styles,” Ciminelli said. “But this week, it seemed like if you threw the ball well, you were rewarded.”

Ciminelli, 29, said the win also was an important building block in her career.

“I still have a ways to go in taking what comes to you, and just dealing with it. Parker’s my idol that way. He just never gets upset about anything. I still have some things to learn about being a professional bowler and one thing that happened this week was dealing with perseverance. I had two 140 games and usually when I do that, I just miss the cut. To come back from that was big for me; the old me wouldn’t have been able to do that.”

The South Point Bowling Plaza PBA Fall Classic continues Friday with the South Point PBA West Challenge, a regional tournament open to players who have not won a PBA title. Action then shifts to the most high-powered five-player team competition in PBA history, the PBA Team Challenge, Saturday and Sunday. The PBA Fall Classic concludes with the PBA50 Western Open, a regional tournament for players ages 50 and older, on Monday.

The entire Fall Classic is being covered live, exclusively on PBA’s online video-streaming service, Xtra Frame. For details, visit

South Point Bowling Plaza, Las Vegas, Thursday

Final Standings
1, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., $10,000.
2, Anthony Pepe, Elmhurst, N.Y., $5,000.
3, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J., $2,500.
4, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $2,000.
5, Bill O'Neill, Langhorne, Pa., $1,500.

Stepladder Results:
Match One – Bohn def. O’Neill, 215-200.
Match Two – Bohn def. Belmonte, 253-210.
Semifinal Match – Ciminelli def. Bohn, 234-190.
Championship – Ciminelli def. Pepe, 269-211.

Final Match Play Standings (after 32 games, including match play bonus pins):
1, Pepe, 11-5, 7,888.
2, Ciminelli, 10-6, 7,518.
3, Belmonte, 10-6, 7,385.
4, Bohn, 8-8, 7,350.
5, O'Neill, 10-6, 7,344.
6, Kristopher Prather, Milton, Fla., 8-8, 7,280, $1,400.
7, Aaron Lorincz, Saginaw, Mich., 7-8-1, 7,248, $1,350.
8, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla., 8-7-1, 7,218, $1,300.
9, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill., 5-11, 7,210, $1,250.
10, Patrick Girard, Canada, 5-11, 7,140, $1,200.
11, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind., 10-6, 7,125, $1,150.
12, Sam Cooley, Australia, 7-9, 7,100, $1,100.
13, Matthew McNiel, Prior Lake, Minn., 6-9-1, 7,085, $1,075.
14, f-Liz Johnson, Cheektowaga, N.Y., 7-8-1, 7,069, $1,050.
15, Lonnie Waliczek, Wichita, Kan., 6-9-1, 6,980, $1,025.
16, a-Oscar Rodriguez, Colombia, 7-8-1, 6,816, $1,000.

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