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Alves, Palermo defend PBR titles in world finals at Thomas & Mack

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Steve Marcus

Brazilian bull rider Silvano Alves celebrates with his trophy after winning the series championship during the Built Ford Tough Series Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Finals at the Thomas & Mack Center Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Alves is the first rider to win back-to-back series championships in PBR.

Updated Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 | 5:28 p.m.

Alves Wins 2012 PBR World Finals

Renato Nunes of Brazil escapes serious injury after being thrown from a bull during the Built Ford Tough Series Professional Bull Riders (PBR) World Finals at the Thomas & Mack Center Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012. Launch slideshow »

LAS VEGAS — Silvano Alves and Robson Palermo became the first Professional Bull Riders to successfully defend their world and event titles Sunday at the PBR World Finals.

Alves earned his second consecutive $1 million bonus for winning the season points championship and Palermo claimed his second straight $250,000 bonus as the winner of the six-round event at Thomas & Mack Center.

Alves, from Pilar Do Sul, Brazil, finished with a 659.25-point margin over Guillerme Marchi, from Leme, Brazil, for his second PBR season title. Marchi made a strong bid for the crown with an 83 on Blueberry Crush in the fifth round and a second-place 88.75 on Bootdaddy.com in the championship round.

Alves scored 87.5 on High Octane Hurricane in the fifth round and was bucked off Whitewater Trouble in 4.98 seconds in the championship round, both on Sunday. But Alves was still able to win his second title, as he tallied 12,201.25 season points compared to 11,542 for Marchi.

"It was really good to win it the first time, but it gave me the idea I could win it again," Alves said. "Every bull rider dreams to win the world title, but to win it twice is pretty special. The first title was great, but the second one is even better.

"When I got here, I knew that every round I could possibly lose and every round I could possibly win. The most important thing was to stay on my bulls."

Palermo, who was the lone rider to enter Sunday's competition with four successful rides, was bucked off Gray Squirrel in 3.49 seconds in the fifth round. He then finished in third place in the championship round with an 87.25 on Pawnbroker that propelled him to the event title with 439.25 points. Palermo also is the first rider to claim three World Finals championships, as he won his first title in 2008.

"To win three times is awesome," Palermo said. "I'm so proud of myself. I had surgery on my shoulder and missed 11 events, and I'll probably have surgery again. And I still rode good like that."

Palermo entered the fifth round with 352 points and enjoyed a comfortable 85-point lead over Luke Snyder of Raymore, N.C., who was second with 267. Snyder, however, had unsuccessful Sunday rounds.

Brazilian rookie Emilio Resende, though, moved up to second place, less than a point behind Palermo in the event championship race, with 351.75 points after a first-place 89.75 ride on David's Dream in the championship round.

"I kind of upset myself because I was bucked off (Gray Squirrel)," Palermo said. "I (knew then that I've) got to stay on and cross my hands, and I made an 87.25 (on Pawnbroker in the championship round)."

Renato Nunes of Buritama, Brazil, was third at 348.5.

Resende claimed the 2012 PBR Rookie of the Year Award and Asteroid won the 2012 Bull of the Year Award. Asteroid clinched his title when he bucked off L.J. Jenkins of Texico, N.M., in 6.44 seconds in the championship round. Asteroid was 16-1 in 2012, as J.B. Mauney of Mooresville, N.C., was the lone rider to last eight seconds on him.

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