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Ciminelli Out-Strikes Pepe To Win PBA Xtra Frame South Point Las Vegas Open 11/13/2015

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 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 his 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."

Article was posted with permission from Stars & Strikes, America's Bowling Newsmagazine.

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