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Merica Rooster Illusion Wins PBA Team Challenge Title


LAS VEGAS, Nev. – After scratching its way into the championship round, the team calling itself ‘Merica Rooster Illusion threw nine strikes on 10 attempts to win the Professional Bowlers Association Team Challenge at the South Point Bowling Plaza.

The team, named after a reference found in the movie “Tropical Thunder,” knocked off TheBFFs, the top qualifying team composed of veteran international players Dom Barrett and Stuart Williams of England, Martin Larsen and Jesper Svensson of Sweden, and Finland’s Osku Palermaa, 498-452, in the two-game, total pinfall final game. ‘Merica locked it up with its strike barrage in a 264-232 clinching game.

“We’re a team of journeymen and young guys, all of whom can throw strikes when you need them,” team captain Ronnie Russell said.

Russell, who won his fourth career PBA
Tour title along with a share of a $30,000 first prize, was joined by former PBA Rookies of the Year Marshall Kent (2014), E.J. Tackett (2013) Rhino Page (2008) and veteran Chris Loschetter, who bowled after being cleared by doctors in his battle with cancer.

”It really wasn’t about Losch and cancer,” Tackett said. “Losch is Losch. He doesn’t change, but when he got cleared to bowl, that’s what we wanted to do for him. To get a win after what he’s been through really makes it special.”

Loschetter, who earned his second PBA Tour title, also took it in stride. He wasdiagnosed with testicular cancer just before the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VII in Reno last December, had surgery, and thought he was cleared until the cancer resurfaced in his abdomen during the summer. After another bout of chemo, he was declared clear in early October.

“It definitely makes you appreciate life,” the Avon, Ohio resident said. “Getting another title? Yeah, that’s cool.”

The PBA Team Challenge is a one-of-a-kind five-player team competition for the sport’s most talented players. It was conduct as part of the South Point Bowling Plaza Fall Classic.

In the first match in the two-game, total pinfall Baker for m a t stepladder finals,
‘Merica Rooster Illusion defeated Playin’ With House Money (Josh Blanchard, Dino Castillo, D.J. Archer, Shawn Maldonado and Tom Daugherty), 508-488. The difference
proved to be Archer’s 10 pin in the eighthrame, ending a deadlock when Rooster Illusion closed the match with six consecutive strikes.
‘Merica Rooster Illusion then broke opena five-pin match with a string of six consecutive strikes to win the semifinal match,
482-452, eliminating the highly-regarded all- star team, One College POY and You Know the Rest (Chris Barnes, Bill O’Neill, Tommy Jones, Wes Malott and Jason Belmonte). The “POY” team represented a combined total of
64 PBA titles, by far the most in the entire 20- team tournament field.

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