LAS VEGAS – The Nashville Stampede, who entered the PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series playoffs in last place, proved that it’s not how a team starts a season, it’s how they finish, in winning the inaugural PBR (Professional Bull Riders) Team Series Championship.
The Nashville contingent, stacked with talent including riders with four combined PBR World Championships, continually disappointed throughout the regular season, finishing 7-20-1. But the squad caught fire and was dominant in the eight-team tournament in Las Vegas at T-Mobile Arena. After concluding the regular-season last in the league standings, the Stampede delivered a historic Cinderella run through the progressive elimination tournament, riding upset wins against the Top 3 teams to be crowned the first-ever PBR Team Series Champions.
“It’s crazy,” said Nashville Stampede Head Coach Justin McBride dirtside. “I got to win two individual titles as a bull rider in this sport, and it’s nothing compared to this. The buckle is awesome, but for me, it’s about these guys who never gave up and finished on top.”
The Nashville Stampede began their march to victory Friday evening when they faced off against the No. 3 Oklahoma Freedom. The gritty contingent rode three bulls to stun the Freedom, defeating the powerhouse team by one ride score, 264.75-176, to advance in the team tournament. The Stampede’s performance was headlined by scores from Ryan Dirteater, who came out of retirement to seek his first championship, Cladson Rodolfo and 2018 World Champion Kaique Pacheco.
As competition continued in Round 2, the Stampede were locked in a David vs. Goliath showdown with the No. 1 Austin Gamblers. Continuing their impressive run through the tournament, the Stampede bested the Gamblers by one ride score, 265-175.25, to earn the first direct berth to the Semifinals.
On Championship Sunday, the Stampede then went head-to-head with the No. 2 Texas Rattlers, presented by Ariat, in the first Semifinal showdown. Compliments of an early score from Joao Henrique Lucas, and a 90-point, fifth-frame ride from Pacheco, the Stampede punched their ticket to the title game with a 178.5-90.25 win.
The Stampede’s fate then came down to the Championship Game against the No. 5 Arizona Ridge Riders. Delivering three qualified rides from Dirteater, three-time World Champion Silvano Alves and Pacheco, the Stampede defeated Arizona 264-182.75, completing their come-from-behind surge to be crowned the inaugural PBR Team Series Champions,
Looking down the league standings, following Semifinal losses, the Texas Rattlers and Oklahoma Freedom squared off in the Third-Place Game. Outscoring Oklahoma by two rides, the Rattlers concluded the 2022 season third, beating the Freedom 270-86.75.
Article Courtesy of the PBR
Photo by: Andy Watson/ Bull Stock Media