NEBA crowns doubles champs

Submitted by Katie Sullivan

Doubles win boosts Aguiar up all-time list, earns Petraglia Jr. first NEBA title

NEBAAguiarRagsJrSumAlex Aguiar and Johnny Petraglia Jr. topped the field this weekend at East Providence Lanes in Rumford, R.I., to win the New England Bowlers Association’s 34th doubles tournament. The duo defeated Steve Violete and Eric Copping in dramatic fashion in the final round of match play to claim the title.

When Aguiar and Copping stepped up to bowl the 10th frame, Violette and Copping were up by one pin. Copping bowled first, tossing a double. Needing to match him in order to stay in the match, Aguiar threw two strikes of his own. For his final shot, Copping left a 10 pin. Aguiar stepped up for the final shot of the match needing another strike for a tie which would force a ninth and 10th frame roll-off. He nailed it and the match was tied at 471. To the roll-off they went.

A chopped six-10 by Violette gave Petraglia and Aguiar a two-pin lead. Once again, it was between Copping and Aguiar. Copping got up and left the seven pin. To clinch the 89-66 tie-breaker win, Aguiar rolled another strike.

After bowling doubles together since 2010, the two finally found the winners’ circle, giving Petraglia his first ever NEBA title.

“I’m on cloud nine,” said the new champion.

This was Aguiar’s 13th NEBA title which ties Bill Webb for fourth place all-time. The New Bedford, Mass., native has been hot lately, winning three NEBA tournaments this year after clinching two titles in each of the last three years.

“NEBA is a special organization with a rich history,” said Aguiar. “PBA Hall of Famers Mark Roth and Wayne Webb plus Mike Fagan, Patrick Allen and Paul Moser all have titles here.”

Aguiar and Petraglia have plenty of chemistry, qualifying for match play five out of five times together in the past. The pair frequently play golf and have roomed together when on the road.

“There is nobody I would rather bowl with than Alex Aguiar,” said Petraglia.

Despite shooting 258, 279, 258 and 256, Aguiar credits the win to the second round of match play where Petraglia picked him up. Against the team of Ryan Devlin and Jon Matunas, Aguiar bowled his low game of 155, but Petraglia added 246 to the team’s total for the 401-343 win.

“He was there when I needed him,” said Aguiar. “It takes a team effort to win this kind of event and we were a true performance team.”

They split the winnings of $2,450 and each received an Ebonite NEBA Tournament of Champions entry. Runners-up Violete and Copping split the $1,450 second place envelope.

The two teams left standing in the finals proved to be the teams to beat. Both had very convincing wins over tough competition in the semi-finals. Copping and Violette knocked out Bill Green and 7-time Bowler of the Year Bill Webb 509-418, while the eventual champions took down Donie Corneau and Jon Van Hees 502-410 to advance.

The East Providence-hosted doubles tournament drew 125 entries with a sold-out 9:00 a.m. squad, making it one of the busiest and most popular events thus far this year. The medium-scoring tournament saw cuts of +241, +224 and +285 with the at-large cut being +186 after five doubles games of qualifying. 32 teams made it into match play, and the last spot won double their entry fee. Danny Khuu shot the tournament’s only 300 game which helped him and his partner Todd Lathrop earn the top seed in match play.

Click here for results.

The next NEBA will be a singles tournament on June 23 and 24 at AMF Auburn Lanes in Auburn, Mass.

NEBA has run monthly scratch tournaments since 1963 throughout New England. Since 2010, over 900 bowlers from 15 states had participated, averaging 206 per tournament. Just this year alone, over 500 bowlers have entered in a NEBA tournament. More information can be found on

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