LAS VEGAS – Rebounding from a loss on Challenge Day 1, Team Can-Am, led by a flawless Ezekiel Mitchell (Rockdale, Texas), rebounded in dominant fashion, shutting out Team Wrangler to improve to 1-1 in Division A. Mitchell, who had been mired in a six-out buckoff streak, started the game on a high note for his contingent, delivering an 87.75-point trip aboard Smokin Gun (Hodges/Shuler) to convert during the first out of day two of the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol.
Mitchell remained flawless when he later made the 8 aboard Texas Comfort Air’s First Blood (Cooper/Scruggs Bucking Bulls) for 87.5 points. Captain Fabiano Vieira (Perola, Brazil) also posted crucial points for Team Can-Am, riding Major Threat (M Rafter E Bucking Bulls) for 88 points. Mauricio Moreira (Gaviao Peixoto, Brazil) was the final rider to record a score for the team, posting 84 points atop Teddy (Ace of Spades/Cooper/Scarborough). With its four qualified rides, Team Can-Am climbed from No. 5 to No. 3 in the Division A standings ahead of its matchup against Team YETI on Challenge Day 3. Team Wrangler will look to improve upon a dismal Challenge Day 2 when they face Team Las Vegas on Sunday.
“I hope that it surprised him in a little bit, in that it gave him momentum,” five-time PBR World Finals turned commentator Colby Yates said of Mitchell on Ridepass, PBR’s western sports digital network. “Those were two very exceptional rides, and Ezekiel Mitchell should be passing that on to the next couple of games.”
“I think I picked the best team,” Captain Fabiano Vieira told CBS Sports’ Kate Harrison. “These guys ride so good.”
“We couldn’t let up at all,” Ezekiel Mitchell said as he walked viewers through his trip aboard Texas Comfort Air’s First Blood. “I had to stay on him. I have always wanted to get on him, so I had to take advantage of the time I could.”
Garrett Smith Goes 2-for-2 to Propel Team Las Vegas to Second Game Win of PBR Team Challenge
Team Las Vegas: 257 points
Team Union Home Mortgage: 85.25 points
LAS VEGAS – In a showdown between two of the winning teams from Challenge Day 1 of the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, Garret Smith (Rexburg, Idaho) rebounded from a fruitless Friday performance to lead Team Las Vegas to victory over Team Union Home Mortgage. Smith recorded his first qualified ride inside the Pendleton Whisky Let ‘Er Buck Saloon at South Point Arena when he made the 8 aboard CopperPoint (Hart Cattle Co./Hale) for 83.5 points. The Idahoan then remained perfect when he conquered Diamond Willow (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Diamond Willow) for 87 points. Teammate Chase Dougherty (Canby, Oregon) also logged his first 8-second effort of the uniquely formatted event, marked 86.5 points aboard Jungle Can Do (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve/Diamond Willow). Team Las Vegas gained one position in the Division A standings, now the No. 2-ranked contingent, 323 points behind Team Cooper Tires. While suffering its first loss, Team Union Home Mortgage avoided a shutout as Luciano de Castro (Guzolandia, Brazil) rode Quid Pro Quo (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve) for 85.25 points. On Challenge Day 3, Team Las Vegas will compete against Team Wrangler, while Team Union Home Mortgage will go head-to-head against Division A’s No. 1-ranked roster, Team Cooper Tires, in the LIVE CBS Sports televised Game of the Week (12:30 PM EDT).
“I’m just happy to have them,” Captain Stetson Wright said of his teammates. “They showed up to ride today when I didn’t. Garrett and Chase both made awesome rides and I couldn’t be happier.”
“Just putting my head down and knowing I could ride them,” Garrett Smith said of his perfect performance on Challenge Day 2 after being shut out on Friday. “One at a time, and hopefully a bunch more to go.”
Flawless PBR World No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme Captains Team Cooper Tires to Second Game Victory and Top Ranking in Division A of New PBR Team Challenge
Team Cooper Tires: 332 points
Team YETI: 0 points
LAS VEGAS – As Challenge Day 2 for the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge wound to a close, the dominance of Team Cooper Tires began to clearly take shape inside the Pendleton Whisky Let ‘Er Buck Saloon at South Point Arena in Las Vegas. Continuing his seemingly unstoppable momentum, current PBR world No. 1 Jose Vitor Leme (Ribas do Rio Pardo, Brazil) again captained Team Cooper Tires to victory, demolishing Team YETI en route to the contingent’s second blowout win, second game amassing more than 300 points, and ascension to the No. 1 ranking in Division A. As the only rider to deliver a qualified ride in the first half of the game, Leme ignited a fire in Team Cooper Tires when he covered Beast of Burden (EVP Bucking Bulls) for 88.25 points. Following Leme’s flawless ride, his team showed its impressive depth when forced to make its first game time roster replacement. Aggravating an existing right (riding) arm injury while attempting Skitso (EVP Bucking Bulls), Sage Kimzey (Strong City, Oklahoma) was unable to attempt his second bovine athlete. Answering the call, Stetson Lawrence (Williston, North Dakota) stepped up in a big way. With just moments to prepare, Lawrence gritted to a massive 88.5-point effort aboard Keno (Chad Berger Bucking Bulls). The clutch performance by Lawrence set forth a perfect second-half game for Team Cooper Tires. Following Keyshawn Whitehorse’s (McCracken Springs, Utah) 70-point ride aboard Wasted Nights (Hart Cattle Co.), Leme punctuated the team’s shutout of Team YETI when he made the 8 on 4 Bears (Dakota Rodeo/Chad Berger/Clay Struve) for 85.25 points. Courtesy of another dominant performance, Team Cooper Tires is now the No. 1-ranked team in Division A for the PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge after beginning Saturday night’s games No. 2. It will play Team Union Home Mortgage in the Game of the Week, to be televised on CBS Sports, on Sunday. Leme also remains in firm control of the Built Ford Tough MVP race, 167.25 points in front of No. 2 Ezekiel Mitchell (Rockdale, Texas). Team YETI, now last place in Division A, will look to earn its first game win on Challenge Day 3, and also record its first qualified ride when they face off against Team Can-Am.
“I stepped in and it all worked out,” Stetson Lawrence said of the game-time call for him to replace an injured Kimzey. “Happy I did it.”
“I’m very happy about another great day for this team,” Captain Jose Vitor Leme said. “I just want to keep working.”
“I should be good tomorrow,” Sage Kimzey said of his injury. “Not really a big deal, and when you have a guy like Stetson sitting in the bull pen you have to bring him in.”
Team Union Home Mortgage’s Mason Taylor aggravated his injured right wrist while attempting Short Pop on Challenge Day 2 and did not get on his second bull. He is doubtful to compete on Challenge Day 3 on Sunday, June 7.
Team Union Home Mortgage’s Luciano de Castro aggravated a chronic right hip injury while attempting Paint The Town. He remained in competition.
Team Cooper Tires’ Sage Kimzey aggravated an existing right (riding) arm injury while attempting Skitso on Challenge Day 2. He could not get on his second bull on Saturday and is questionable for Challenge Day 3.
Team YETI’s Cole Melancon did not compete on Challenge Day 2 after aggravating a pre-existing right knee injury on Challenge Day 1. He is doubtful to compete on Challenge Day 3.
Team Wrangler’s Brennon Eldred did not compete on Challenge Day 2 after sustaining a concussion on Friday, June 5. He is doubtful for Challenge Day 3.
Team Wrangler’s Roscoe Jarboe competed on Challenge Day 2 with a bruised right shoulder sustained on Challenge Day 1 when he was stepped on by War Wagon.
YETI “BUILT FOR THE WILD” BULL OF THE WEEKEND STANDINGS
Here are the Top 5 bull scores recorded on Challenge Day 1 and Challenge Day 2 of the 2020 PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol:
1. Red Dawn (Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struve/Heald Pro Bulls) – 44.5 points (Cole Melancon, 2.78 seconds)
Milk Man (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) – 44.5 points (Silvano Alves, 6.17 seconds)
3. Big Black Cat (Dakota Rodeo/Berger/Struver/Heald Pro Bulls) – 43.75 points (Stetson Wright, 88.25 points)
Bring The Heat (Cooper/Scruggs/Scarborough) – 43.75 points (Brennon Eldred, 1.66 seconds)
South Texas Gangster (Dakota Rodeo/Rosen/Struve/Berger) – 43.75 points (Stetson Wright, 2.58 seconds)
Drago (M Rafter E Bucking Bulls) – 43.75 points (Jordan Spears, 3.97 seconds)
Oz (TNT Bucking Bulls/Hart Cattle Co.) – 43.75 points (Eli Vastbinder, 3.65 seconds)
DIVISION A STANDINGS
Here are the current standings for Division A after Challenge Day 1 and Challenge Day 2 of the 2020 PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol:
1. Team Cooper Tires, 2-0-0-668.25 points (+1)
2. Team Las Vegas, 2-0-0-345.25 points (+1)
3. Team Can-Am, 1-1-0-434.25 points (+2)
4. Team Union Home Mortgage, 1-1-0-422.25 points (-3)
5. Team Wrangler, 0-2-0-257.25 points (-1)
6. Team YETI, 0-2-0-0.00 points
BUILT FORD TOUGH MVP STANDINGS
Here are the current standings for the Built Ford Tough MVP race for the 2020 PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol:
1. Jose Vitor Leme, 4-for-4, 342.5 points
2. Ezekiel Mitchell, 2-for-4, 175.25 points
3. Stetson Lawrence, 2-for-3, 173.75 points
4. Mauricio Moreira, 2-for-4, 171 points
Roscoe Jarboe, 2-for-2, 171 points
6. Garrett Smith, 2-for-4, 170.5 points
7. Luciano de Castro, 2-for-4, 169.5 points
8. Silvano Alves, 2-for-4, 167 points
9. Stetson Wright, 1-for-4, 88.25 points
10. Fabiano Vieira, 1-for-4, 88 points
11. Chase Dougherty, 1-for-2, 86.5 points
12. Colten Jesse, 1-for-4, 86.25 points
13. Mason Taylor, 1-for-3, 85.75 points
14. Sage Kimzey, 1-for-3, 82 points
15. Keyshawn Whitehorse, 1-for-2, 70 points
CHALLENGE DAY 3 MATCHUPS
Here are the game matchups for Challenge Day 3 on Sunday, June 7, for Division A of the 2020 PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol:
Team Las Vegas vs. Team Wrangler
Team Can-Am vs. Team YETI
Team Cooper Tires vs. Team Union Home Mortgage*
* Note: This is the Game of the Week.
Challenge Day 3 for the 2020 PBR Monster Energy Team Challenge, presented by U.S. Border Patrol gets underway at 10:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, June 7. After CBS Sports Network LIVE covers the opening two games from Challenge Day 3, CBS Sports will bring viewers LIVE coverage of the Game of the Week. The LIVE broadcast telecast will begin at 12:30 p.m. ET. RidePass‘ LIVE coverage of all three games will begin at 10:30 a.m. ET on RidePass.com or via the mobile app.