NEW YORK – Here are three things we learned from Round 2 of the Monster Energy Bucking Battle:
Aparecido gets rewarded in the standings
Eduardo Aparecido was one of the most consistent riders on the BFTS this year who was struggling to receive any points in the world standings.
He had covered 3-of-6 bulls prior to Saturday night, but hadn’t scored high enough this year to place in any rounds or in the event average.
That was until Aparecido rocked Madison Square Garden aboard KISS Animalize with the first 90-point ride of the weekend to win the first 15/15 Bucking Battle of 2015. He earned 150 points toward the world standings courtesy of the victory.
“I am really happy to have a 90-point ride and I am pumped up to ride better,” Aparecido said with the help of Robson Palermo translating. “I have been riding good, but I didn’t have points. Now, God helped me get some points and I feel healthy and good and am just going to keep trying to get more high scores and points.”
It is Aparecido’s second 90-point ride of his career after riding Roy for 93.25 points at the 2014 Built Ford Tough World Finals.
Aparecido originally rode South Paw for 80 points in the 15/15, but decided to accept his re-ride option knowing far too well he needed a high score to win.
“I knew he was a real good bull and that if I rode the bull I would get a real good score,” Aparecido said. “That is why I got on him.”
Aparecido, who finished runner-up to Joao Ricardo Vieira for the 2013 PBR Rookie of the year and sixth last year in the world standings, added that he is now comfortable and more familiar with the BFTS bulls after competing on the BFTS the past two years.
“I have watched a lot of bulls every week and watching on YouTube has helped a lot,” Aparecido said.
Vieira finished second in the 15/15 Bucking Battle with his 89.25-point ride on Pound the Alarm, earning 90 points toward the world standings.
Mauney placed third with an 89-point performance on Crack The Whip to pick up 75 points toward the world standings, while Mike Lee earned 60 points in the world standings for his 88.75 point-ride on King Buck.
Silvano Alves and his 87.5-point ride on Ranga granted the defending World Champion a fifth-place finish and 45 world standings points.
Alves uses gutsy effort to keep streak alive
Just when it looked like Silvano Alves PBR record streak was about to fall, the three-time World Champion put forth his gutsiest effort of the 2015 season to ride his 22nd consecutive bull on the Built Ford Tough Series.
Alves came out of the right side of the chute in good position on Ranga, who broke into a quick and steady spin. However, Jeff Robinson’s bovine athlete tested Alves near the end of his ride by making a nose dive toward the dirt following a strong buck mid-spin.
Ranga’s dirt dive pulled Alves toward his right side and put plenty of strain on the 27-year-old’s positioning.
“That was really hard,” Alves said. “I ride good, but the bull bucked hard. He went to the right and in the middle of spin he made a big jump and then he jumped moving toward the right to. I am concentrating all the time, but it was really hard.”
The Pilar Do Sul, Brazil, bull rider was credited with 87.5 points and the Madison Square Garden faithful gave him not only a standing ovation, but also voiced their displeasure toward the judges about the score.
Alves said the energy in the building after his 84-point ride on Fat Chancegot his adrenaline revved up in anticipation of the 15/15 Bucking Battle.
“It was very exciting,” he said. “All of the fans were loud and (having) more adrenaline is good for riding.”
Alves also had ridden RMEF Big Bull for 69 points in Round 2, but decided to accept his opportunity to face Fat Chance instead.
He is currently 2-for-2 in the Monster Energy Bucking Battle and sits second in the event average with 170.25 points. Chase Outlaw currently leads the event average with 171.25 points.
Matt Triplett congratulated Alves following both of his successful 8-second rides and said that the defending World Champion is inspiring to him and a great example for young bull riders to look up to.
“When you are going against the best bulls in the world and you see Silvano make 22 great bull rides, words can’t describe how much of a perfect bull rider he is,” Triplett said. “Little kids should be watching him and looking up to him and following his ways. He has a winning attitude and that is what makes him such a great bull rider. He doesn’t quit, he gives everything he got and he never quits.”
Aparecido echoed Triplett’s comments, calling Alves not only a close friend, but a great mentor.
“I am so happy to see Silvano do well because he is a good friend and we travel together all of the time,” Aparecido said. “I am happy to see Silvano break all of these records and I am pumped for him too. He helps make my confidence better.”
Alves will look to ride The Rev in Round 3 on Sunday to extend his PBR record to 23 consecutive rides. It will be the first time that the two will go head-to-head.
Oliveira says Round 2 injuries no big deal
Valdiron de Oliveira became the first man on the BFTS to win two rounds this season following his 88.5-point effort on Little Red Jacket, which ties him for the event lead with Round 1 winner J.B. Mauney.
Oliveira was able to overcome his sprained left ankle, a pulled groin and a minor riding hand injury to earn the 8-second qualified ride.
“Well, I am very happy because this year I have won two rounds in a row,” Oliveira said. “I feel OK. My ankle is taped up. It is no big deal. It will be OK. I put on ice on it every day. My (groin) is no big deal. It is getting better. I can feel the inflammation is much better.”
Chase Outlaw, Matt Triplett and Stetson Lawrence all earned 86 points in Round 2 to tie for second place and earn 50 event points each, which also count toward the world standings.
J.W. Harris finished fifth in Round 2 with 85.5 points on Mr. Bojangles, and earned 30 event points.
L.J. Jenkins had a tough Saturday night as he continues to try and ride with his unstable right shoulder that he injured last week at the Touring Pro Division event in Madison Square Garden.
Jenkins was bucked off by The Crippler in 5.5 seconds during Round 2 before being dispatched by Walk Off in 2.53 seconds.
The 27-year-old was able to grind out an 82-point ride on Pandemonium Gold in Round 1 on Friday night.
“Yeah he kind of started out dirty, but that is a bull everybody here should ride,” Jenkins said during Round 1. “It feels alright. It didn’t bother me riding, but getting on I have to watch putting my hand down. I felt it pop again. Usually, I will hurt it and I will be good the next week. But this week it still really isn’t as good as it should be.”
Zane Lambert sustained a concussion when he was thrown from Gonzo in 3.87 seconds during Round 2. According to Dr. Tandy Freeman, Lambert is questionable for Round 3.
Emilio Resende (multi-ligament knee reconstruction); Claudio Crisostomo (left clavicle fracture); Ty Pozzobon (concussion) and Markus Mariluch (bicep surgery) all missed their third consecutive BFTS events.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
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