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John Szczerbinski of North Tonawanda traveled halfway around the world two weeks ago to represent the U.S. in last week’s 49th QubicaAMF Bowling World Cup competition.

The 25-year-old pro didn’t come home from Siberia empty-handed. He and Danielle McEwan’s the U.S. female representative, won the award as the top country. Each finished fourth in respective divisions, the best combined finish of any country.

The individual titles went to Or Aviram of Israel and Carolina LaGrange of Canada. Aviram defeated top seed Guy Caminsky of South Afrida, 2-1, in the men’s title match. LaGrange defeated Cherie Tan of Singapore, 2-1, in the women’s final.

Szczerbinski was in fifth place after 32 games of qualifying with 7,661 (239.41 average). Included was a high game of 279 in the final qualifying block.

That landed the former Wichita State All-American in the eight-bowler round-robin. He had a 5-3 match play record, just missing the three-man stepladder, Overall, he had 9,657 pins (237.68 average). That left him 74 pins behind third-place finisher Alexei Parshukov of Russia, who, obviously, was a big favorite with the home crowd.

Parshukov finished in third after losing in the semifinals to Aviram, 2-0.

The World Cup was held in Krasnovarsk, smack in the middle of Siberia. The city of 973,826 is the third largest in Siberia. Chekhov, the great Russian playwright, considered it the most beautiful city in Siberia with its mountain views. The city is an important junction of the Trans-Siberian Railway located in the middle of an aluminum producing region.

Another Western New York bowling globetrotter is Ryan Ciminelli, who competed this week in the Japan Cup in Tokyo.

After qualifying third in his squad with a 10-game score of 2,338 (high game 259), Ciminelli ran into the 30th seed Bill O’Neill in the match play round of 64. Despite averaging 247 for the match, Ciminelli was swept by his good friend, 278-266, 258-248, 258-235.

Ciminelli was among 20 U.S. pros invited to the Japan Cup. The round of 16 was completed early Saturday and Tommy Jones, Sean Rash and Chris Barnes were the only American pros left standing.

Pin chasers

• Fans of Pete Weber will enjoy seeing the colorful Hall of Famer in action Sunday when the weekly PBA Tour series begins another season on ESPN (1 p.m.). The finals were taped earlier this morth for a later showing.

Weber will face the winner of fourth seed Clara Guerrero of Colombia and eight-time Tour champion Wes Malott. Guerrero, an international star, joined Kelly Kulick, the 2010 PBA Tournament of Champions winner, and 2005 Banquet Open runner-up Liz Johnson of Cheektowaga to have previously qualified for PBA Tour TV finals. Malott won the 2013 U.S. Open for his first career major title.

If the winner of the Malott- Guerrero match can get past Weber, another Hall of Famer, top seed Parker Bohn III, will be waiting.

Weber is a contender for 2012-13 PBA Player of the Year honors after winning his 10th major, the PBA Tournament of Champions in April tying Earl Anthony for most major wins.

Ciminelli will be featured on the next two ESPN Sunday shows - the Viper Championship on Dec. 8 and the Chameleon Championship on Dec. 15.

• Hannah Diem of Seminole, Fla., became the youngest United States Bowling Congress member to bowl a certified 300 game last Sunday when she ended her Youth/Adult Fall league session at Liberty Lanes in Largo, Fla., with 12 consecutive strikes.

At 9 years, 6 months and 19 days, Hannah broke the previous overall record of 10 years, 2 months by Chaz Dennis of Columbus, Ohio, in 2006 and shattered the girls’ mark of 12 years, 4 months set by Brandie Reamy of Farmington, Mich., also in 2006.

She started the night with games of 204 and 226 before rolling the perfect game to finish with a 730 series, a personal best by 166 pins. Entering the night, her high game was 224 and her high set was 564.

email: mnorthrop@buffnews.com