Behind the Chutes: Watch to Watch for, Round 4
LAS VEGAS – The Built Ford Tough World Finals is officially at its midway point heading into Round 4 on Saturday night at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Here are some storylines to watch:
Mauney poised for 90-plus points
According to PBR Director of Livestock Cody Lambert, J.B. Mauney may score in the 92-94 point range tonight if he makes the 8-second mark on Bruiser tonight in Round 4.
Mauney is fourth in the event average and is in the hunt for his third World Finals event title. The 2013 World Champion rode Hou’s Back for 90.25 points in the third round to earn the first pick in Friday night’s bull draft, where he selected Bruiser.
Bruiser bucked off world leader Joao Ricardo Vieira in 3.44 seconds and was marked 44.5 points in Round 1.
Two-time World Champion Justin McBride agreed with Lambert during Saturday’s pre-event CBS Sports Network television and said he hopes to see Bruiser give a similar trip that he had in Springfield, Missouri. Bruiser bucked off Stormy Wing in 4.77 seconds and was marked 45.75 points at that event.
Will Alves or Joao Ricardo Vieira slip up?
Silvano Alves is in the driver’s seat heading into Round 4 and has been the hottest rider on the BFTS throughout October. He is a perfect 10-for-10 and is riding with the confidence of a rider who knows exactly what is at stake.
Alves, ranked second in the world standings, selected Freakster in the bull draft Friday and there is no question the two-time World Champion needs to keep pressing forward, covering his bulls to gain some breathing room on Vieira. The world leader holds a 770.94-point advantage on Alves heading into the round, but Alves has the upper hand in the event average.
If Alves bucks off, he opens the door right back to Vieira.
On the flipside, Vieira needs to keep outscoring Alves in every round to keep close to his challenger in the event average.
Vieira has a Round 4 meeting with Karaoke, who he rode for 88.75 points in Oklahoma City at the BFTS event in February.
How does Triplett respond?
Matt Triplett is still in the hunt for his first career World Finals event title following his 6.59-second buckoff against Shepherd Hills Stockman.
The 23-year-old sustained a bruised throat and had to be helped out of the arena while struggling to breathe. He has an interesting matchup with Delco in Round 4 and an 8-second ride could put him back atop the leaderboard.
Triplett begins the night tied for second in the event average.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko.
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