Bowling News USA - March 8, 2012 The Schlemer Report - WSOB Geico Shark Open
In last week’s Geico Shark Open, Storm’s Jason Belmonte proved once again that patience is a virtue. As the practice for the show began, we knew that Barnes, Mika, and Rash would most likely try and beat the lane up where they wanted to play. With Belmo, his natural ball speed and rev rate breaks a lane down quick enough so we never try to make his transition faster. He usually always tries to play more defense and find the right ball motion and reaction. This case was no different. Barnes and Mika both came out with plenty of surface between 10 and 15. Then as the practice time moved on, Mika pulled his usual make one lane worse than the other by moving both right and left with a super dull ball on the right lane only so that the pair would break down completely different. Lucky for everyone, there wasn’t enough time for him to beat down the lengthy, high volume Shark pattern.
Since the others were doing their thing, we kept trying to see if Belmo could actually start left of everyone else. No such luck. With the length and volume of the pattern, the lane just wasn’t blended enough. We decided the best chance to stay in the game was to get on top of them and force them to move. Using the pin down Marvel Pearl to start seemed to be the right choice. It allowed him to stay close to the others and didn’t read the lane too early and was definitely stable rolling. We knew we needed to be patient and let the lane transition. As the frames wore on, it was evident the lanes were starting to change, but since everyone tried a few shots from deeper in practice with no success, all the guys felt they were kind of trapped in staying where they were on the lane. Belmo catching the late double in the ninth and tenth was huge as it forced Mika to show up in the tenth. All in all, Mika definitely bowled a better game than Belmo, but score does not reflect style points.
As practice moved along before match two, it was evident we needed just a little more length for Belmo, but nothing drastically different. We tried multiple balls, but the low RG, early rolling Marvel Pearl was still the best option. However, the pin down was a little too early so we decided on the pin up Marvel Pearl to again try to stay close to the others. Moving left was still not an option. As the second game moved along, the key for Belmo was to stay clean. Before we knew it Barnes had front eight and Rash was all over the map. As that second game finished up both Del and I could see that the only way to defeat Barnes was to try and get left of him.
Before the title match we had Belmo try multiple balls from where he was and then we had him jump left and see. Sure enough after all the bowling and then the break that awarded Barnes his check for shooting 300, the lanes blended out and Belmo was good to go. Between Belmo, Del, and I, we all agreed the pin up Critical Theory with the fresh out of box cover was the best look of any ball. Not to mention it allowed Belmo to move five boards left of Barnes; which of course made the lane change quickly for him and led to his loss in reaction. After the key Brooklyn to start, Belmo got dialed in and added six more to it to start with a seven bagger. While Barnes tried every adjustment in his play book, he only came up empty handed. Even with the bad shot in the eighth frame, Belmo had the match in hand and it was over. And by capturing his second title of the season, he extended his lead even more in the player of the year race. Be sure to catch the upcoming Roth/Holman Doubles, Carmen Salvino Classic, and Elite Players Championship. Let’s just say that the Storm Nation is not done yet!