CHICAGO – Eduardo Alves’ tiny hands could barely grasp the case that held his father’s event-winning belt buckle Sunday afternoon.
He couldn’t keep his eyes off the shiny belt buckle either. No matter where his dad went across the Allstate Arena dirt to greet fans, sign autographs and pose for endless photos, Eduardo just kept his eyes glued to the belt buckle.
No one was taking that belt buckle away from him, just like no one was able to take the Chicago event title away from Silvano Alves this past weekend.
Moments earlier, Eduardo and his sister, Hanyelle, had stormed the dirt to celebrate their dad’s first regular-season victory since he won the 2013 Built Ford Tough Series event in Oakland, California. They then followed their beaming father up to the top of the shark cage as he was awarded Eduardo’s latest favorite belt buckle.
“I am very happy to have my family here and to win this event,” Alves said following a weekend in which he also set a new PBR record for consecutive rides on the Built Ford Tough Series.
Following his 3-for-3 performance, his BFTS streak is now up to 19 consecutive 8-second rides. But, for the three-time World Champion, no record or championship gives him as much joy compared to the love of his family.
“Family is very important because all the time my family supports me when I buck off or ride,” he said before glancing over at Eduardo, who was beginning to garner his own fandom. “It is a good time with the family together.”
Alves said it was special to have his family alongside him as he extended his PBR-record streak of 19 consecutive rides on the BFTS. He officially passed J.B. Mauney for sole possession of the record on Saturday night when he covered Redbone for 85 points.
Then on Sunday, Alves did what he does best and made the 8-second whistle two more times to be the only rider to go 3-for-3 in Chicago. His 540 event points pushed him past Baltimore winner Reese Cates for the No. 1 position in the world.
Through just two BFTS events, the reigning World Champion has already accumulated 910 points in the standings (he earned 140 of them in Australia this past November) and is off to a fast start of his title defense.
Alves has been an 8-second machine since he joined the BFTS in 2010. His 6-for-6 start to 2015 is his best start to a season since he debuted on the BFTS with eight consecutive rides.
His history of earning qualified rides makes Valdiron de Oliveira believe that Alves may take his current streak into the 20s if he gets favorable draws.
“I think he can go 20, 25,” Oliveira said. “It depends on how (are) the bulls he gets. Some are difficult to ride. It will depend on his draw.”
Prior to the event on Sunday, Alves was taking Eduardo around the back pens and putting him on his shoulders pointing out all of the BFTS bulls. Inside the locker room, Eduardo was right by his side as he began to put on his gear for the final day of the Chicago Invitational.
Eduardo eventually walked over to Guilherme Marchi, who offered the 2-year-old a high-five.
“(Alves) deserves everything he won,” Marchi said on Saturday night after Alves set the PBR record for consecutive rides. “He has a dedication to be a champion and a dad. What the best do is they break records and ride all those bulls and make a good story. His family supports him all the time and his buddies do too.”
Alves’ wife, Evelin, cheered on as her husband sealed the event win in the Built Ford Tough Championship Round by taking care of Flint for 87.75 points.
“I am very proud of him because he has (ridden) 19 bulls,” Evelin said. “I am very happy for him. He is a good daddy for our kids and a good husband. I am very proud of him.”
Silvano has also now ridden five consecutive bulls in championship rounds dating back to last season for an average score of 87.6 points.
“Flint is a good bull and I rode him last year one time,” he said. “Because of (everyone’s) good scores, I needed to ride him. All of the bulls in Top 15 are great bulls and I like Flint all the time.”
Alves will look to potentially ride his 20th consecutive bull Friday night during Round 1 of The Monster Energy Buck Off at the Garden in New York. The draw has officially not been set for Round 1, but Alves will face Ranga during the first 15/15 Bucking Battle of the season on Saturday night.
The Pilar Do Sul, Brazil, native knows it is way too early in the season to think about a potential fourth World Championship, but after having an uncharacteristically slow beginning to last season he is happy with the good start to 2015.
“I don’t know (about that fourth title),” Alves responded when asked about his title defense. “I just ride and ride and ride for a long time.”
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
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