Canada wins trios at 2019 PABCON Men's Championships

Trios results

LIMA, Peru -
Past United States Bowling Congress Collegiate standout Dan MacLelland has decided this will be his final year bowling for Team Canada, and he averaged 239 through six games of trios competition Thursday to guarantee he'll be leaving his last Pan American Bowling Confederation Men's Championships with at least one gold medal.

The 34-year-old right-hander teamed with Nathan Ruest-Lajoie (1,337) and Darren Alexander (1,287) to outlast bowlers from 18 other countries, and the teammates used a big final game (709) to win a five-team race for the top spot in the standings. They finished with a 4,058 six-game total, a 225.44 team average.

"We knew we all had a pretty good look on the fresh, and we were able to take advantage of that tonight," said MacLelland, who helped his team to a 755 start Thursday and contributed a 1,434 total to the overall effort. "After that, it was about communicating, making the right moves and focusing on the flow of information. We each made 10 good shots in the last game, and, fortunately, it was enough."

Puerto Rico entered Thursday night's final game as the front-runner, 42 pins ahead of Venezuela, 45 pins ahead of the Canadians, 80 pins ahead of Colombia and 85 pins ahead of Team USA's Perry Crowell IV, Sean Wilcox and Nick Pate.

A 648 finish left Puerto Rico's Andro Simounet, Jean Francisco Perez and Cristian Azcona with a 4,042 total and the silver medal, while Colombia's Manuel Otalora, Alfredo Quintana and Andres Gomez closed with 704 to surge into third place and take the bronze medal with a 4,018 total.

Trios competitors were split across two squads at the new Bowling Center of La Villa Deportiva Nacional (VIDENA), and Canada's first trios team - defending champions Mitch Hupé, Francois Lavoie and Zach Wilkins - set the number to beat earlier Thursday with a 3,985 total.

Hupé, Lavoie and Wilkins, who posted a record score to win the trios event at the 2016 PABCON Adult Championships in Cali, Colombia, settled for a fifth place finish this year in Peru.

Venezuela's Luis Eduardo Rovaina, Rodolfo Monacelli and Ildemaro Ruiz landed in fourth place with 3,995, and Crowell, Wilcox and Pate finished sixth (3,946), just ahead of their Team USA teammates John Janawicz, AJ Johnson and Darren Tang (3,928).

Despite not reaching the medal stand for the first time at the 2019 PABCON Men's Championships, Team USA head coach Rod Ross did not describe the trios event as a failure.

Instead, it was an opportunity to learn more about the 41-foot World Bowling Rome oil pattern, how it transitions with more competitors on each pair of lanes and how they can approach it during the coveted five-player team event, which will take place Friday and Saturday.

"We bowled well today and did what we wanted to do, including getting out to an early lead on both squads, but we ran into some transitions and just didn't adapt quick enough," Ross said. "But, the team learned a lot, and I'm extremely proud of how they performed. We'll try to use those things in our game plan tomorrow, and we're looking forward to a successful team event."

Team USA opened the week with a silver medal in singles (Tang) and a doubles gold medal after a record score from Johnson and Wilcox.

Competition at the 2019 PABCON Men's Championships will resume Friday morning with the first three games of the team event, which will conclude with three additional games Saturday. The trios medals will be presented after Friday's squad.

The 100 bowlers from 19 countries are competing for medals in singles, doubles, trios, team and Masters competition. Gold, silver and bronze medals also will be awarded in all-events based on the week's 24-game pinfall totals.

The event features countries from North, Central and South America and the Caribbean, including Argentina, Aruba, Bahamas, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, United States, Uruguay and Venezuela.

This week's tournament is the first event to take place at the newly constructed bowling center, which is part of an expansive athletic complex that will be home to the 2019 Pan American Games this summer.

Among the competitors at the Pan Am Games will be MacLelland, and that's where his time with Team Canada will conclude.

The coming days will give him a chance to add to his long list of successes and also learn more about the bowling center and city of Lima, before he returns in July.

Being able to successfully defend the PABCON Championships trios title and share that experience with two young players in Alexander and Ruest-Lajoie certainly was special, almost in a passing-the-torch kind of way, but the work in Peru isn't done yet.

"I know this is my last PABCON, so finishing on top means a lot, and it will be something I always remember," MacLelland said. "The fact that it was gold is even more special, plus, all six of us now will be leaving Peru with medals, which is really cool. Next, we'll focus on the team event and see if we can finish the week on an even higher note."

Lavoie won the tournament-opening singles event with a record 1,493 total, and Wilkins and Hupé were able to snag the doubles bronze medal Wednesday.

For more information on the PABCON Men's Championships, visit