SACRAMENTO, Calif. - J.B. Mauney has two words
of advice for Silvano Alves: "Hang on."
Alves, the reigning World Champion, is matched up against Asteroid in the much-anticipated final out of the first PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle. Asteroid was runner-up for last year's World Champion Bull title, and after the past two weeks, is undeniably the No. 1 active bull of 2012.
Last week, Mauney gave the bull a try, but became the latest in a growing list of riders unable to make the 8-second whistle. Mauney was expecting Asteroid to come around to the left after one explosive jump out of the chute, but the 24-year-old overcompensated.
Asteroid took an extra jump before turning right, as Mauney came over the front end.
"He's spun left every time I've seen until tonight," Mauney said after last week's attempt in Portland, Ore.
Asteroid had the second-highest bull score last week with 45.75 points, and has two of the three highest scores of 2012 so far.
He made his season debut on Jan. 15 in Anaheim, Calif., and won the Pabst Blue Ribbon Bull Award for being the high-marked bull of the event. He scored 46.75 points after bucking off Douglas Duncan in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round.
When asked Alves can make the whistle, Mauney said, "Yeah, he can do it."
"(Asteroid) feels great. He's just so steep and he kicks so hard and there's so much down, like, I couldn't stop myself. I was trying to do everything and then I hit his head."
'Silvano is going to ride Asteroid.'
Alves liked what he saw in Portland - "hop, skip, two, three
jumps and spin to the right" - and wouldn't mind if the bull had
another trip that mirrored the 2.96 seconds with Mauney.
Asteroid had two of the Top 10 bull scores in 2011, and was the high-marked bull at four consecutive events.
Guilherme Marchi, who helped translate for Alves, said the reigning champ "respects the bull, and the bull proved he's the best bull right now - bucked really hard - and he's going to try really hard. It's going to be a very good match.
"Silvano is going to ride Asteroid."
MAKING THE CALL: PBR Livestock Director Cody Lambert said that he originally had Buckey in the fifth spot and Smackdown as the No. 2 bull in the 15/15 pen, but moved Buckey up in the rankings after he beat out Asteroid in Portland, Ore., last week. He also moved Yellow Jacket Jr. out of the Top 15 all together.
BUSHWACKER ACK HOME: In a text message earlier this week, Kent Cox wrote, "Bushwacker's vacation is over just picked him up."
The reigning World Champion Bull would have been the No. 1 bull at the Sacramento event, but has been out of competition after having bone fragments removed from his back legs. According to both Cox and Dr. Gary Warner, there are no visible effects from the procedure.
"He looks like he could go today," said Cox, who added that Bushwacker is expected to return to competition in Arlington, Texas, but will not buck in back-to-back weeks.
Bushwacker is back home after successful surgery on his hind legs.
DEJA VU: In addition to the matchup between
Alves and Asteroid, there are three rematches in the PBR 15/15
Bucking Battle. Last week, Jordan Hupp rode
Lincoln Electric's Bring It for the second time in
his career. Hupp covered him for 86.25 points to win the Portland
event. He previously had ridden him for 89.25 points last year in
New York before bucking off him later in the season in Wichita,
Austin Meier has both ridden and bucked off Shepherd Hills Trapper. He rode him last week in the Championship Round for 85.5 points, but had bucked off in 4.95 seconds in Arlington, Texas, at the Iron Cowboy Invitational.
Cody Nance has twice bucked off Jack Daniel's After Party - once at 3.85 seconds and once at 4.12 seconds.
POWER RANKINGS: The rankings, which are based on the past five events, measure rider efficiency using a variety of statistics, including, but not limited to, wins, riding percentage, scores, and bulls. Thirteen of the Top 15 are in this week's PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle.
The current Power Rankings for this week: 1. Robson Palermo 93.32; 2. Valdiron de Oliveira 91.38; 3. Alves 91.16; 4. Caleb Sanderson 89.26; 5. Marchi 88.74; 6. L.J. Jenkins 85.96; 7. Mauney 85.96; 8. Meier 85.65; 9. Marco Eguche 85.56; 10. Ty Pozzobon 84.54; 11. Fabiano Vieira 84.5; 12. Aaron Roy 83.88; 13. Ryan McConnel 83.53; 14. Hupp 83.53 and 15. Luke Snyder 83.26
CALIFORNIA, HERE WE COME: This is the eighth year in a row and the ninth time since 1996 that the BFTS has visited Sacramento. The Golden State has hosted 43 BFTS events, including one two weeks ago in Anaheim. The 43 events are the second most behind Texas (52).
This is the eighth year in a row and the ninth time since 1996 that the BFTS has visited Sacramento.
FORMATS: Each of the 40 riders will ride on
Saturday and Sunday. Following Round 1 on Saturday, the first PBR
15/15 Bucking Battle will be held. Points from the Bucking Battle
will not count toward the event standings, but will count in the
overall season standings. Following Round 2 on Sunday, the riders
with the 10 highest cumulative scores will advance to the Built
Ford Tough Championship Round, where they will each compete with
one more bull. The overall event winner will be the rider with the
highest combined score from Rounds 1 and 2 and the championship
NEWCOMER: Nic Lica will compete in his first Built Ford Tough Series event in Sacramento. The 6-foot, 155-pound Lica, who will turn 21 years old on March 24, is originally from Garden City, Mich., and now makes his home in Stephenville, Texas.
WHERE TO WATCH: NBC will broadcast the PBR 15/15 Bucking Battle in its entirety at 1:30 p.m. ET this Sunday, Jan. 29. CBS Sports Network will air the regular event action Sunday at 6 p.m. ET, with an encore airing later that night at 10 p.m. ET. There will also be encore showings on Monday, Jan. 30, at 9 p.m. ET, and Tuesday, Jan. 31, at 12 a.m. ET.
Veteran broadcaster Craig Hummer will provide the play-by-play. Color commentary will be provided by nine-time World Champion and PBR co-founder Ty Murray. Dirt-level interviews will be handled by Marty Snider.
LIVE EVENT CENTER: Follow all the action from this week's BFTS event by logging on to the Event Center at www.pbr.com/live. The multimedia center provides in-arena audio, live scoring, live blogging and event-related interviews.
© 2013 PBR Inc. All rights reserved.