Bowling News USA - April 4, 2012 The Schlemer Report - Carmen Salvino Classic
Can you say total domination? I knew you could. I mean here we are two weeks left in the season and the Storm/Roto Grip Nation has won every PBA event but three. That is 10 of 15 to date including the recently added International PBA titles via the WTBA. Yep that’s right SCOREBOARD! In all seriousness, if that doesn’t explain just how good the Storm and Roto Grip product lines are top to bottom, I don’t know what else does. I am not discrediting the guys throwing the balls, but the products being produced here at Storm definitely give bowlers an advantage.
Heading into the Carmen Salvino finals, Del Ballard and I knew it had the potential of being a high scoring affair. Anytime you outnumber the competition with your staffers you have more control on how the lanes will transition. This is as long as the guys are all in agreement to do so. Luckily with Andres Gomez, Wes Malott, and Jason Belmonte there wasn’t an issue. All agreed they would work together to break the 40 foot Carmen Salvino pattern down from inside and keep chasing the pattern left. In the infamous words of Hannibal from the A-team, “I love it when a plan comes together.” In practice before the show, both Belmo and Wes were fine, the only uncomfortable one was Andres. He wanted to creep left and stay ahead of the transition. Every time he did, his ball would not read the lane the right way. So that is why to start the match he felt he had to keep his angles more closed and get closer to where Wes and Belmo were playing the lanes. Belmo had plenty of room with his Marvel Pearl and Wes felt the Frantic gave him the best look. Andres, well that was a different story. In practice alone we must have went through eight different balls. Of the group, the Marvel Pearl seemed to be the best option even though it didn’t seem all that great to start the match. Truth be told, it wasn’t the ball’s fault at all. Andres just didn’t feel he had room so he decided to close down the angle between his feet and his target. At the end of practice it was alright and didn’t look bad at all. Then the game started. The lights got brighter, the lane transitioned, and he got a little stronger with his release. Add all of those points up and it turned out not to be the right answer. That is why in about the fourth frame you saw Andres walk over to where Del and I were sitting to talk about what was happening. He felt too closed down and felt he now had the room to cheat his feet left and create more room on the lane with a softer release. Del and I both agreed that it would allow Andres to get more comfortable by being able to use his hand. Jackpot: a good call at a good time. It turned out to be the difference maker for him that first game. He caught a four-bagger and Wes and Belmo kept pace. Ronnie ran into the problem we had expected; his ball was not cornering enough down lane to carry.
By this point it didn’t matter, it was “may the best man win” as Team Storm/Roto was guaranteed yet another WSOB title. Wes was still good with his Frantic and Belmo was still content with the Marvel Pearl. Again it was Andres that felt he needed a different look even though he just bowled 253 the game before. To him he felt the lane starting to read earlier and still felt he could not move any deeper. So in the practice before the second match we decided the Hy-Road with the pin over the bridge and no extra hole was a better option for him. It was cleaner than the Marvel Pearl but did not overreact when he got his hand into it. Little did we know it was going to be a spare fest between him and Belmo. Neither struck a lot that second game and Belmo committed two open frames while Andres managed only one open frame to move onto the title match.
Another match and yet again Andres was back to not being comfortable. Again he was feeling the lane changing more than his liking. This time it was not the front part of the lane, it was the backend. He felt he needed something similar to the Hy-Road but just a little smoother. The answer was simple, another Hy-Road with a weaker pin and more oil in the coverstock. This allowed him to move just a little, but still not move deep where he felt he could 2-8-10 on any given shot. The ball change was the answer. Wes kept chasing the oil back and forth with the same Frantic he started with and just could not find the right angle, while Andres went 10-pin spare, six-bagger to start the game. By the eighth frame, Andres had a 40 pin lead and sealed his first career PBA Title.
Be sure to tune in next week for the Exempt Player Championship where the Storm/Roto Nation looks to capture another WSOB title. Storm staffers Jason Belmonte and Norm Duke lead the charge. While free agent Mike DeVaney (using Roto Grip) looks to capture his third career PBA title.