By: Justin Felisko
PUEBLO, Colo. – Championship Weekend of the Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol, is right around the corner, and the first round of the playoffs begins Friday night at the Denny Sanford PREMIER Center in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
Fans in attendance, as well as those watching on CBS Sports Network and RidePass, will see two marquee matchups on Friday night with Team Las Vegas (4-2) vs. Team Boot Barn (3-2-1) and Team Ariat (4-1-1) vs. Team Can-Am (3-3) beginning at 9 p.m. ET.
Division B champion Team Pendleton Whisky has a first-round bye, and it will face the winner of the Team Las Vegas vs. Team Boot Barn matchup on Saturday night.
Today, PBR.com looks at Team Pendleton Whisky and how it won Division B.
Team Pendleton Whisky
Riding Percentage: 41.67%
Aggregate Score: 1,259.75
Average Score Per Game: 209.96
Average Ride Score: 83.98
Team Members: Marco Eguchi, Lucas Divino, Boudreaux Campbell and Amadeu Campos
General Manager: Justin McBride
REG. SEASON SCOREBOARD
Team Pendleton Whisky: 166.5, Team South Point: 158 (W)
Team Pendleton Whisky: 161.5, Team Boot Barn: 86 (W)
Team Pendleton Whisky: 173.5, Team Ariat: 266 (L)
Team Pendleton Whisky: 411.75, Team Caterpillar: 88.25 (W)
Team Pendleton Whisky: 88, Team Lucas Oil: 86.5 (W)
Team Pendleton Whisky: 258.75, Team Ariat: 88.5 (W)
There was no team more in need of the week off before the playoffs than Team Pendleton Whisky. Captain Marco Eguchi has been competing with a partially torn left groin, world No. 8 Lucas Divino could barely move his arms following Team Pendleton Whisky’s final game in Las Vegas and Amadeu Campos added a right hamstring strain to go along with a very unstable left shoulder and right MCL sprain.
Despite the laundry list of injuries that no team wants to have, Pendleton Whisky still went an impressive 5-1 to win Division B. Eguchi led the way as Pendleton Whisky relied on heart, grit and determination to not use the injuries as an excuse for failure at the Monster Energy Team Challenge.
Team Pendleton Whisky posted the second-most qualified rides (15) in Las Vegas and was only three away from Division A champion Team Cooper Tires.
The addition of Boudreaux Campbell has given this team a spark, and was a smart move by General Manager Justin McBride, and the week off should help this team become that much more of a threat to win the Monster Energy Team Challenge.
Team Pendleton Whisky was the lone squad to go 5-for-6 in a single game during divisional play, routing Team Cat 411.75-88.25. Newcomer Boudreaux Campbell did not wait long to be a difference-maker and brought intensity to Pendleton Whisky’s push for a division title. Campbell rode Losing My Religion for 87.25 points – a bull who has only been ridden nine times in 70 outs at all levels of competition – to set the tone early in the game. Lucas Divino then rode Twinkle Toes for 69.25 points and Marco Eguchi made it three consecutive rides for Pendleton Whisky to begin the game when he converted on Hurricane Tested for 84 points. Campbell and Divino extended the lead in the second half with rides aboard Little Okie (85 points) and Jaynette’s Pet 2 (86.25 points).
MEET THE CAPTAIN
The Monster Energy Team Challenge is turning into one of the most memorable performances from Marco Eguchi since he won the 2018 PBR World Finals event title. Eguchi has thrived in a leadership role, inspiring riders such as Lucas Divino and Boudreaux Campbell, and going 5-for-9. Eguchi is third in the METC in aggregate score despite his injury, and he stepped up with the Division B title on the line against Team Ariat in the final game of the regular season. The seven-time PBR World Finals qualifier got Pendleton Whisky on the scoreboard first with 86.75 points on Pink Tornado. Team Ariat captain Cooper Davis then put his team back into the lead with an 88.5-point ride on Melanie’s Dream. Eguchi countered Davis with an 86-point ride on Buck Wild to open the second half and Pendleton Whisky would not look back.
Accolades: 2018 World Finals event winner, 2019 Global Cup champion, 2019 Music City Knockout winner
Lucas Divino is 4-for-11 at the METC as he has been battling an injury to his riding hand. However, Divino stepped up immediately for Team Pendleton Whisky in its first game, delivering a walk-off victory over Team South Point with his 85.25-point ride on Mortimer. Divino told PBR.com over the weekend that he was feeling better, and Team Pendleton Whisky will be that much stronger if he can ride as he did toward the end of the first half of the Unleash The Beast.
Boudreaux Campbell stepped up majorly for Pendleton Whisky, and he is going to have to do that once again now that the bull power will be brought up a notch in Sioux Falls. The postseason will be another good test for Campbell as he continues to compete more frequently in the PBR in 2020. Campbell went 3-for-6 in his one weekend of competition at the METC, and heads into Sioux Falls following a sixth-place finish (86-point ride) at the Cody Stampede in Wyoming. Campbell went 1-for-3 during his Fourth of July run.
Team Pendleton Whisky went 3-0 in one-score games in Division B play.
Follow Justin Felisko on Twitter @jfelisko
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