Rolltech PBA World Championship winner Gary Faulkner Jr. of Memphis, Tenn., will try for his second GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII presented by Silver Legacy title and Ryan Ciminelli of Cheektowaga, N.Y., will continue his bid for Player of the Year when the finals of the GoBowling.com PBA Viper Championship presented by Xtra Frame air from the National Bowling Stadium Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Ciminelli, trying for his fifth PBA Tour career title and third of the season, swept nine-time Tour champion Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., (223-214, 256-203, 248-215) in the best-of-five game single-elimination Round of 8 to advance to the match play finals. Ciminelli captured the Bowlmor AMF U.S. Open title in November for his first major and also won the PBA Xtra Frame Las Vegas Open for his two titles this season.
Faulkner advanced to his second World Series telecast by sweeping Joonas Jehkinen of Finland 3-0 (201-180, 246-227, 255-228) in the Round of 8. The 25-year-old former collegiate standout at Webber International University won his first PBA Tour title during the live ESPN telecast of the Rolltech PBA World Championship Dec. 17 by defeating top qualifier E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind., 216-178, in the championship match.
Kim Bolleby entered his name into the PBA record book by becoming the first player from Thailand to make a PBA Tour telecast. He defeated two-handed player Kyle Troup of Taylorsville, N.C. 3-2, (217-195, 212-246, 226-209, 184-226, 248-180) in the Round of 8 to advance to the final.
Also advancing was rookie, Jakob Butturff of Chandler Ariz., who beat Warren Crawford of McKinleyville, Calif., 3-0 (230-193, 224-197, 218-179) in the Round of 8.
In Sunday’s simultaneous semifinal matches, Ciminelli will meet Faulkner and Bolleby will take on Butturff with the winners then bowling a one-game match for the Viper Championship title. Bolleby and Butturff will be trying for their first PBA Tour title.
The Viper Championship is the second animal pattern PBA Tour event of the World Series of Bowling. Future telecasts from Reno on ESPN will include: PBA Chameleon Championship presented by HotelPlanner.com, Jan. 3 at 1 p.m. ET; PBA Scorpion Championship presented by Reno Tahoe USA, Jan. 10 at 1 p.m. ET; Mark Roth/Marshall Holman PBA Doubles Championship, Jan. 17 at 1 p.m. ET and PBA Challenge Finals presented by the International Bowling Museum and Hall of Fame Jan. 24 at 3 p.m. ET.
For all the latest World Series of Bowling news and information, bowling fans can tap into the PBA Network on pba.com and follow the PBA on its official Facebook page and on Twitter @PBATour.