PBA Spare Shots: Voting is Underway to Select PBA’s 2017 Player, Rookie of the Year

by Bill Vint January 11, 2018 12:44

Voting among PBA members and veteran members of the bowling news media is underway to select the 2017 GEICO Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year and the Harry Golden PBA Rookie of the Year.

Candidates for PBA Player of the Year, in alphabetical order, are Dom Barrett, Jason Belmonte, Ryan Ciminelli, Tommy Jones, Marshall Kent, Rhino Page, Sean Rash, Anthony Simonsen, Jesper Svensson and EJ Tackett. Rookie of the Year candidates are Andrew Anderson, AJ Chapman, Nick Kruml, Matt Sanders and Kyle Sherman.

The winners of those two awards, plus the 2017 Steve Nagy Sportsmanship Award winner (selected by PBA Tour players) and the 2017 Tony Reyes Memorial Community Service Award (selected by a special PBA panel) will be announced on Wednesday, Jan. 17, and all four winners will be presented their awards during a live presentation as part of the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Celebration Dinner at the Marriott North in Indianapolis on Saturday, Feb. 17.

The celebration dinner, which also will include the PBA Hall of Fame induction ceremonies for Chris Barnes, Ron Mohr and the late Don Mitchell will be live streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. Tickets for the dinner, which is open to the public, are available on pba.com (https://www.pba.com/Tickets).

DALLAS, PORTLAND ANNOUNCE PLAYERS PROTECTED FOR PBA LEAGUE DRAFT

Dallas Strikers player-manager Norm Duke and Portland Lumberjacks manager Tim Mack has kicked off the 2018 PBA League draft program by protecting three players each from their 2017 rosters.

Duke, the only person who serves a dual role as an active player as well as team manager, will return Tommy Jones and Bill O’Neill to his roster for 2018 Elias Cup PBA League competition which will take place April 20-22 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine. Duke’s Dallas Strikers are the two-time defending champions and Duke is the reigning Mark Roth PBAL Most Valuable Player.

The hometown Lumberjacks, runners-up in 2017, will retain left-hander Ryan Ciminelli, veteran team anchor bowler Wes Malott and two-hander Kyle Troup.

Under PBAL rules for 2018, each team manager can protect up to three players from the team’s 2017 roster. Next up, Silver Lake Atom Splitters manager Mark Baker and Philadelphia Hitmen manager Jason Couch will select their protected players, who will be announced next Monday. LA X (Andrew Cain) and NYC Kingpins (Carolyn Dorin-Ballard) will make their selections by January 21, and the Motown Muscle (Del Ballard Jr.) and Brooklyn Styles (Johnny Petraglia) will round out the protected player process by January 28.

The PBA League draft will take place on Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis when managers will fill any open spots on their rosters. The draft will be live streamed on Xtra Frame. The draft order will be reverse order of finish from last year, beginning with No. 8 Brooklyn followed by Motown, NYC, LA, Philadelphia, Silver Lake, Portland and Dallas. Players eligible to be drafted will consist of the top 75 PBA on the National Tour/WBT earnings list for 2017 plus 2018 events through the PBA Tournament of Champions which ends Feb. 11.

CP3 PBA CELEBRITY INVITATIONAL RED CARPET INTERVIEWS SET FOR YOUTUBE

_2018 Chris Paul Inv (214)Leading up to the 2018 State Farm CP3 PBA Celebrity Invitational presented by GoBowling.com, which will be telecast on ESPN on Super Bowl Sunday (Feb. 4) at 2 p.m. EST, PBA’s YouTube channel will feature a series of red carpet interviews with PBA Tour stars and celebrity participants, starting with tournament host Houston Rockets All-Star guard Chris Paul on Jan. 15.

Following Chris Paul, the PBA YouTube interview schedule will include Norm Duke, Jan. 16; Sean Rash, Jan. 17; James Harden, Jan. 22; EJ Tackett, Jan. 23; DJ Archer, Jan. 24; Terrell Owens, Jan. 29; Pete Weber, Jan. 30; Oscar Nunez, Jan. 31; Mookie Betts, Feb. 2 and Bill O’Neill, Feb. 3.

To view the CP3 red carpet interviews, or any of dozens of other PBA video clips, visit: https://www.youtube.com/user/PBAProBowlersAssn.

PETE WEBER RE-LIVES 2012 U.S. OPEN TITLE IN NEW PBA PLAYER’S PERSPECTIVE

The Xtra Frame Player’s Perspective series returns Thursday with PBA legend Pete Weber re-living his emotional victory in the 2012 U.S. Open. Player’s Perspective is a special series of personal conversations about key moments in PBA history, available first to Xtra Frame subscribers and a week later to all fans on PBA’s YouTube channel.

Xtra Frame subscription packages are offered for seven days, a full month or a 12-month Xtra Frame Season Ticket. Visit xtraframe.com for details on how to subscribe.

A number of Player’s Perspective features are currently available on PBA’s YouTube channel. The new series will debut on Thursday in the coming weeks. Next up, on Jan. 18, will be Rhino Page’s insights into his personal breakthrough in winning the 2017 Xtra Frame Kenn-Feld Group Classic in Clearwater, Ohio. Page’s Player’s Perspective will then debut on YouTube on Jan. 25. Additional perspectives will be announced in the coming weeks.

CODY HECKMAN WINS “BEAT THE CHEETAH CHAMPION” CHALLENGE

Cody Heckman of South Bend, Ind., is the winner of Concrete Software’s “Cheetah Challenge,” a just-for-fun sweepstakes conduct in conjunction with the PBA Cheetah Championship finals, presented by the company’s PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game.

Under the contest rules, PBA Bowling Challenge players were invited to “bowl” a virtual game on their mobile devices to try to beat the 245 game Jesper Svensson rolled in actually winning the PBA Cheetah Championship. Every score that topped Svensson’s 245 automatically entered the player into a drawing to win 5,000 Gold Pins (in-game currency) and a PBA bowling pin signed by Svensson.

Speaking of Concrete Software’s PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game, this week marked the addition of another new PBA League venue to test your skills. The Motown Muscle venue was introduced on Jan. 4; Thursday will introduce the Philadelphia Hitmen venue to the game.

Everyone with a mobile device is invited to join the fun. The PBA Bowling Challenge Mobile Game app is a free download at Google Play and Apple App stores. Use these links: Google Play: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeAnd or Apple App Store: http://bit.ly/PBABowlingChallengeiOS

PBA STARS LAND BERTHS ON TEAM USA 2018

Troup.Kyle_Taylorsville NC_2017 WSOBLed by Kyle Troup (at left) of Taylorsville, N.C., who captured the 2018 USBC Team USA Trials titles on Sunday, in Las Vegas, another group of PBA stars will bowl for the United States as members of Team USA 2018.

Troup finished the 2018 event with 21 ranking points over five qualifying rounds on five different lane conditions at The Orleans to earn his first berth on Team USA. The 26-year-old two-hander, who will represent Team USA in the 2018 QubicaAMF World Cup, will be joined on the team by PBA members AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill.; Jakob Butturff of Tempe, Ariz., and Darren Tang of San Francisco, who earned berths based on qualifying; Andrew Anderson of Holly, Mich., and Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash, who were picked by the National Selection Committee, and Chris Barnes of Double Oak, Texas; Tommy Jones of Simpsonville, S.C.; EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind.; Michael Tang of San Francisco and Chris Via of Springfield, Ohio, who were selected by the National Selection Committee based on submitted resumes.

Several of the women’s team members also have extensive PBA experience in PBA Tour, PBA Regional or PBA Women’s Series competition, including team trials winner Shannon O’Keefe of O’Fallon, Ill. Others who earned or were selected for team berths include Kelly Kulick, Union, N.J.; Stefanie Johnson, McKinney, Texas; Shannon Pluhowsky, Dayton, Ohio; Liz Kuhlkin, Schenectady, N.Y.; Danielle McEwan, Stony Point, N.Y. and Missy Parkin, Laguna Hills, Calif.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: REGIONAL PROGRAM RETURNS JAN. 19-21

PBA’s Regional tournament program returns to action in the PBA Central Region over the Jan. 19-21 weekend with the PBA/PBA50 Don Vay Memorial Central Classic at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

● The PBA South Region returns to action in February with the PBA and PBA50 Break Point Alley Challenge events, both open to players who have not won a PBA title. Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla., will host the doubleheader over the Feb. 9-11 weekend.

● The PBA South Region’s second weekend of competition includes the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., over the Feb. 16-18 weekend.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the new PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

The PBA has learned that Rob Hoffman of Freehold, N.J., a PBA member since 1993, died Dec. 22 at the age of 52. He had a best regional and PBA50 regional finish of fourth. He was a member of the Monmouth County Bowling Hall of Fame and owned 32 sanctioned 300 games.

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PBA Spare Shots: 2018 PBA League Draft Moves to Saturday, February 17 at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis

by Bill Vint January 5, 2018 13:56

The 2018 PBA League draft, originally scheduled for Monday, Feb. 12, is moving to Saturday, Feb. 17 at 10:30 a.m. at Woodland Bowl. The draft, which will fill vacancies on all eight PBA League teams, will be live streamed on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel.

Here’s a revised summary of how the 2018 PBA League draft will work:

● Each team manager will protect up-to three players from their 2017 roster according to the following deadlines. Protected players for each team will be announced on the following Monday: the Dallas Strikers (manager Norm Duke) and Portland Lumberjacks (Tim Mack) will select their protected players by Sunday; Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Mark Baker) and Philadelphia Hitmen (Jason Couch) by Jan. 14; LA X (Andrew Cain) and NYC Kingpins (Carolyn Dorin-Ballard) by Jan. 21 and the Motown Muscle (Del Ballard Jr.) and Brooklyn Styles (Johnny Petraglia) by Jan. 28.

● The final roster spots will be filled during the 2018 PBA League draft on Saturday, Feb. 17, at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis, site of the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic. Xtra Frame will cover the draft live.

● The draft order will be in reverse order of finishing positions in 2017 for both rounds (No. 8 Brooklyn will select first followed by Motown, NYC, L.A., Philadelphia, Silver Lake, Portland and Dallas. There will not be a “serpentine” reverse order this year.

● Players eligible to be drafted will consist of the top 75 PBA players on the PBA Tour/WBT earnings list for 2017 plus 2018 events through the PBA Tournament of Champions, which ends Feb. 11. Note that players from 2017 teams left off the protected list will not be automatically eligible; they must be on the top 75 earnings list to be eligible. The eligibility list will be published on Monday, Feb. 12, and those players must then declare for the draft by Thursday, Feb. 15.

PBA STAR DANNY WISEMAN ELECTED TO USBC HALL OF FAME

Baltimore’s Danny Wiseman, a 12-time PBA Tour champion and 2013 PBA Hall of Fame inductee, has been elected to the United States Bowling Congress Hall of Fame along with former PWBA star Tennelle Milligan.

Wiseman, 50, won his only major title in the 2004 USBC Masters which was contested on specially-constructed lanes in the infield of Miller Park in Milwaukee. It was the first championship bowling event ever held in a major league baseball stadium. He will be inducted during ceremonies as part of the USBC Annual Meeting at the Grand Sierra Resort in Reno, Nev., on April 25.

PBA REGIONAL UPDATE: REGIONAL PROGRAM RETURNS JAN. 19-21

PBA’s Regional tournament program is taking a break over the holidays, returning to action in the PBA Central Region over the Jan. 19-21 weekend with the PBA/PBA50 Don Vay Memorial Central Classic at Legend Lanes in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio.

● The PBA South Region returns to action in February with the PBA and PBA50 Break Point Alley Challenge events, both open to players who have not won a PBA title. Break Point Alley in Tavares, Fla., will host the doubleheader over the Feb. 9-11 weekend.

● The PBA South Region’s second weekend of competition includes the PBA50 Dave Edwards Toyota Spartanburg South Open at Paradise Lanes in Spartanburg, S.C., over the Feb. 16-18 weekend.

● For complete PBA Regional schedules, rules and entry information, visit pba.com, open the “schedules” tab and click on PBA Regional Tours to find the event(s) in your area…and remember, you can follow “live scoring” for all PBA Regional events on pba.com (easily accessible for Apple device users using the new PBA app).

QUICK NOTES

Three-time PBA Regional champion Missy Parkin and husband Drew are the elated parents of their first child, Drew Steven Parkin Jr., who arrived on Dec. 30 at 6:41 a.m., weighing in at 8 lbs., 6 oz., and measuring 19 inches long.

● Former PBA member Jack Horner of Belpre, Ohio, died Dec. 30 at the age of 87. Horner, who was a PBA member from 1972 to 2001, owned one PBA regional title. He competed on the PBA50 Tour for several years compiling 11 match play appearances and 37 cashes in 129 tournaments. He was a member of the Parkersburg and West Virginia Bowling Halls of Fame.

● Neil Gahl of Wilton, N.Y., is the winner of a new high-performance ball from DV8; Allen Pankow of Lonsdale, Minn., will receive a new high-performance ball from MOTIV, and Kelly Lake of East Palatka, Fla., wins a new Brunswick ball as December sweepstakes winners for subscribing to Xtra Frame. The monthly sweepstakes is sponsored by the respective PBA Product Registered partners. Monthly winners are selected from among new Xtra Frame subscribers, who are automatically entered when they enroll as a monthly or Xtra Frame Season Ticket (full year) subscriber.

Brian Knauer is the December winner of a $200 HotelPlanner.com certificate, redeemable for future lodging expenses, compliments of PBA’s official travel partner. The monthly sweepstakes is open to anyone who books a hotel through the HotelPlanner.com link on pba.com. Those who book through HotelPlanner.com are automatically entered.

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Australia’s Jason Belmonte Wins Historic PBA World Championship for Ninth Major Title, Third in 2017

by Bill Vint December 31, 2017 11:54

RENO, Nev. – Australia’s Jason Belmonte re-wrote the Professional Bowlers Association record book again, winning his ninth career major championship with a thrilling 238-225 victory over top qualifier Jesper Svensson of Sweden in the PBA World Championship at the National Bowling Stadium. With the win, Belmonte became the first player in PBA’s 60-year history to win three major championships in a single season.

The PBA World Championship, the final tournament of the 2017 Go Bowling! PBA Tour season, aired Sunday on ESPN as part of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX, presented by Eldorado Resorts Reno Properties. Belmonte’s 16th career PBA Tour title was worth $60,000, and it moved him into sole possession of third place on PBA’s list of all-time major titlists behind PBA legends Earl Anthony and Pete Weber who both won 10 majors.

In addition to his historic victory, Belmonte was part of the first nationally-televised PBA Tour event that included two sudden-death roll-offs, one of which gave the two-handed Australian star his shot at the title.

“That’s going to go down as one of the most exciting shows in a long time,” said Belmonte, who added the PBA World Championship to his collection of major titles that includes two PBA Tournament of Champions, two PBA Players Championship and an unprecedented four United States Bowling Congress Masters titles. At age 34, he is a U.S. Open title away from the PBA Triple Crown (U.S. Open, TOC and PBA World Championship, Grand Slam (Triple Crown plus Masters) and the “Super Slam” (Grand Slam plus Players Championship).

Since winning his first major in the 2011 PBA Players Championship at age 27, Belmonte has won his nine titles over a span of seven seasons. It took Anthony 11 seasons to win his first nine majors; it took Weber 26 seasons to accomplish the same feat. Both won their 10th majors in the next season.

“It feels bloody amazing,” Belmonte said. “I wasn’t aware of being the first to win three majors in a year until Kimberly Presser mentioned it after the show. It’s been a really, really great year. I don’t know what else to say.

“I’m honored to be one win away from arguably the two best bowlers who ever lived on the all-time majors list,” he added. “I don’t know how I’ll feel if I get to 10 majors, but I’ll tell you that no. 9 is a pretty good feeling.”

SandersThe opening match of the World Championship set the stage for the rest of the day when 2017 PBA Rookie of the Year contender Matt Sanders (photo at left) of Evansville, Ind., and two-time PBA Tour winner Kyle Troup (at left, middle photo) of Taylorsville, N.C., finished in a 248-248 tie. After missing a 10 pin spare attempt on his final shot, Troup struck on his first shot in the one-ball sudden-death roll-off and moved on when Sanders left a 7 pin on his roll-off shot.

In the second match, Ryan Ciminelli (at left, bottom photo) of Cheektowaga, N.Y., survived a 193-180 battle with Troup, who missed a pair of three-pin spare Troupconversion attempts.

In the semifinal match, Ciminelli appeared to have Belmonte on the ropes after striking on seven of his first eight shots while Belmonte began with four spares. But Belmonte got lined up and threw the final eight strikes, forcing the finals’ second sudden-death roll-off when Ciminelli left the 2-4 on his fill ball for a 257-257 tie. In the roll-off, Belmonte went first and left a 7 pin. Needing a strike to win, Ciminelli left the 2-5-6 on his first shot.

“I was fortunate Ryan didn’t bowl one pin higher than me,” Belmonte admitted. “If you watch Ryan enough, you know he’s one of the best players out here in the clutch.”

In thCiminellie championship match, Belmonte started with three strikes, converted a 10 pin spare and then got a fortunate strike in the fifth frame when a finger grip came out of his ball.

“I thought I was in real trouble when the grip came out and I still struck,” he said. “But then I was wondering if the glue (on the new grip) would set, or if I’d start thinking about it coming out again.

“I also know that just when you think Jesper’s having a bad game, he’ll strike out on you.”

It appeared that was exactly what was about to happen. After leaving the 4-6-10 in the first frame for an open, Svensson threw the next five strikes to take the lead. Svensson was nursing a nine-pin lead after six frames when the changing lane conditions impacted both players.

“The traffic of urethane balls Jesper (photo below) and Kyle were using laid down an oil track that made reading the progression difficult,” Belmonte said. “You can usually see early tell-tale signs, but not this time. It got to the point I didn’t know what to do.”

SvenssonFour consecutive single-pin spares, including a 7 pin on Svensson’s first shot in the 10th frame, gave Belmonte an opening.

“In the last frame, needing two strikes to win after not striking on that lane the three previous attempts, I made two of the best shots I’ve ever thrown in my life,” Belmonte said. “It was a good guess and even better execution.

“After Jesper left that 7 pin, I knew all I had to do was throw one more great shot,” Belmonte said. “I never think I’ve won until I look up and see, mathematically, I’ve won.”

Working on a strike in the ninth frame, Belmonte struck on his first shot in the 10th and needing only a high count on his second to lock up the title, Belmonte struck again and then he looked up at the scoreboard, confirming he had won.

With his fourth title of the 2017 season – including three majors – Belmonte became the odds-on favorite to win his fourth GEICO Chris Schenkel PBA Player of the Year title in the past five years. Voting will take place early in January.

The PBA Tour will return to action Jan. 23-27 when a field of 15 PBA Tour stars, led by Belmonte and defending champion EJ Tackett of Huntington, Ind., head to Tokyo to compete in the 2018 DHC PBA Japan Invitational.

ESPN’s coverage of the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling IX concludes next Sunday with the World Bowling Tour Women’s and Men’s Finals presented by the PBA at 1 p.m. EST. Competing in the women’s finals will be Malaysia’s Shalin Zulkifli, Danielle McEwan of Stony Point, N.Y., and top qualifier Diana Zavjalova of Latvia. Men’s finalists will be Marshall Kent of Yakima, Wash.; Svensson and Belmonte.

PBA WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

National Bowling Stadium, Reno (aired on ESPN on Dec. 31)

Final Standings: 1, Jason Belmonte, Australia, $60,000. 2, Jesper Svensson, Sweden, $30,000. 3, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y., $25,000. 4, Kyle Troup, Taylorsville, N.C., $20,000. 5, Matt Sanders, Evansville, Ind., $15,000.

Stepladder Results: Match One – Troup def. Sanders, 248-248, 10-7 in one-ball roll-off. Match Two – Ciminelli def. Troup, 193-180. Semifinal – Belmonte def. Ciminelli, 257-257, 9-7 in one-ball roll-off. Championship – Belmonte def. Svensson, 238-225.

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PBA League Returns to Portland, Maine for Season Six

by Bill Vint September 29, 2017 09:29

CHICAGO – The Professional Bowlers Association’s PBA League will return to Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, in April where the most fun-loving, raucous fans in bowling will help celebrate PBAL season six, closing out the ESPN portion of the inaugural Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule with four consecutive Sunday telecasts, including the PBA League Elias Cup finals on Sunday, May 13, at 1 p.m. EDT.

Leading the eight-team pack into the fast-paced sixth season of PBA League competition will be player-manager Norm Duke’s Dallas Strikers, in search of their third consecutive Elias Cup. Chasing the Strikers again will be the hometown Portland Lumberjacks, managed by Tim Mack; the Silver Lake Atom Splitters, managed by Mark Baker; the Philadelphia Hitmen, managed by Jason Couch; L.A. X, managed by Andrew Cain; the New York City WTT KingPins, managed by Carolyn Dorin-Ballard; the Motown Muscle, managed by Del Ballard, and the Brooklyn Styles, managed by Johnny Petraglia.

In keeping with tradition, the PBA League will officially get underway with team managers announcing the names of three players from their 2017 rosters who they want to protect when the annual player draft is held. On January 7 Duke and Mack (Dallas and Portland) will name three players from their 2017 rosters they want to retain for the new season. On January 14, Baker and Couch (Silver Lake and Philadelphia) will announced their three protected players. Cain and Dorin-Ballard (L.A. and New York City) will select their three protected players by no later than January 21, and Ballard and Petraglia (Motown and Brooklyn) will have until January 28 to name their three protected players.

All eight teams will then round out their five-player rosters in the PBA League Draft which will be held on Tuesday, Feb. 13, in Indianapolis, site of the Go Bowling! PBA 60th Anniversary Classic, at Woodland Bowl. The draft will be live streamed on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, with teams picking in reverse order of how they finished in 2017. That means Brooklyn will select first – in both rounds – followed by Motown, New York City, L.A., Philadelphia, Silver Lake, Portland and Dallas. Of note, the 2018 draft will not use the serpentine order used in previous years.

There also will be a change in eligibility rules for players wanting to enter the 2018 draft pool. Players who will be eligible for the draft must finish in the top 75 on the 2017-18 PBA Tour-World Bowling Tour earnings money list for 2017 through the 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions which ends February 11. Players from 2017 teams who are not protected by their team managers will not be automatically eligible for the draft. The eligibility list will be published on Feb. 11; eligible players must then declare their intention to participate in the draft by Feb. 12.

The PBA League’s return to Portland will get underway with the PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout April 17-19, with a PBA Tour title at stake in an open entry event that will be covered from start to finish on Xtra Frame.

On Friday, April 20, all PBA League teams will bowl an eight-game Baker format “seeding tournament” to determine seeding positions for the Baker format single-elimination match play bracket.

The PBAL quarterfinals will take place on Saturday, April 21, with the No. 1 seeded team vs. No. 8 and No. 4 vs. No. 5 on the first ESPN telecast that will air on Sunday, April 22. Immediately following on Saturday will be the second round of quarterfinal round matches between team No. 2 vs. No. 7, and No. 3 vs. No. 6. Those matches will air on ESPN on Sunday, April 29. All quarterfinal matches will be “best of two-game” Baker format team contests with a one-ball roll-off to break any ties.

Saturday’s winning teams will advance to the semifinal round on Sunday, April 22, at noon. The semifinal round winners will then bowl for the Elias Cup later on Sunday. The semifinal matches will air on ESPN on Sunday, May 6, with the Elias Cup finals airing on May 13.

All PBA League matches will be live streamed as they happen on ESPN3 and the ESPN app.

At the conclusion of the competition, the PBA will announce the Mark Roth PBA League Most Valuable Player.

2018 PBA LEAGUE SCHEDULE
Jan. 7 – Deadline for Dallas Strikers & Portland Lumberjacks to protect three rostered players
Jan. 14 – Deadline for Silver Lake Atom Splitters & Philadelphia Hitmen to protect three rostered players
Jan. 21 – Deadline for L.A. X and NYC WTT KingPins to protect three rostered players
Jan. 28 – Deadline for Motown Muscle & Brooklyn Styles to protect three rostered players
Feb. 12 – Deadline for eligible players to declare for the 2018 PBA League Draft
Feb. 13 – 2018 PBA League Draft, Indianapolis
April 17-18 – PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout, Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine (open to all players)
April 20 – PBA League eight-game Baker format seeding tournament, Bayside Bowl
April 21 – PBA League quarterfinal matches one (#1 seed vs. #8 seed) and two (#4 seed vs. #5 seed), and matches three (#2 seed vs. #7 seed) and four (#3 seed vs. #6 seed), Bayside Bowl
April 22 – ESPN telecast of quarterfinal matches one and two, 1 p.m. EDT
April 22 – Semifinal matches one (winners of quarterfinal matches one and two) and two (winners of quarterfinal matches three and four); Elias Cup finals (semifinal round winners), Bayside Bowl
April 29 – ESPN telecast of quarterfinal matches three and four, 1 p.m.
May 6 – ESPN telecast of semifinal matches, 1 p.m.
May 13 – ESPN telecast of Elias Cup championship match, 1 p.m.

HISTORY OF PBA LEAGUE ELIAS CUP CHAMPIONS
2013 NYC WTT KingPins presented by GEICO (Tommy Jones/Jack Jurek/John Szczerbinski/Scott Norton/Pete Weber/Kelly Kulick).
2014 Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Bryon Smith/Chris Barnes/Dom Barrett/Wes Malott/Tommy Jones).
2015 Bass Pro Shops Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Mika Koivuniemi/Chris Barnes/Craig Nidiffer/Tom Daugherty/Dick Allen)
2016 GoBowling.com Dallas Strikers (Norm Duke/Bill O’Neill/Shawn Maldonado/BJ Moore/Tommy Jones)
2017 Shipyard Brewing Dallas Strikers (Bill O’Neill/Norm Duke/Rhino Page/BJ Moore/Tommy Jones)

HISTORY OF MARK ROTH PBA LEAGUE MVP AWARD WINNERS
2014 Chris Barnes
2015 Dick Allen
2016 Tommy Jones
2017 Norm Duke

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Shipyard Dallas Strikers Repeat as L.L.Bean PBA League Elias Cup Champs; Duke Wins MVP Award

by Bill Vint May 14, 2017 11:51

PORTLAND, Maine - Crafty strategy and clutch shots at every critical turn helped the Shipyard Dallas Strikers successfully defend their L.L.Bean PBA League Elias Cup title at Bayside Bowl in a hotly-contested battle with the local-favorite L.L.Bean Portland Lumberjacks.

Dallas_2017 Elias Cup_Jones_Duke_Moore_Page_ONeill (5)Led by player-manager Norm Duke, the Strikers won the singles, trios and five-player Baker format matches for a 5-1 victory over the Lumberjacks. The finals aired Sunday on ESPN.

Duke, who was named Mark Roth PBA League Most Valuable Player at the conclusion of the event, gave Dallas a 1-0 lead with a 269-247 win over Portland’s Ryan Ciminelli in the opening singles match. Portland evened the score at 1-1 when Wes Malott and Kyle Troup topped Duke and Rhino Page in the doubles match, 238-209.

“We decided to put me first, and then me with a lefthander (Rhino Page) in the doubles match in order to preserve the lanes, because with all of the rev rate from our other guys, there wouldn’t be any oil left on the inside of the lane for anyone except me, and I needed more help than that,” Duke said. “And that left a fresher condition for our rev guys. They were able to make the adjustments and make the shots, and that’s why we came out on top.”

Dallas regained the upper hand with a 234-227 victory in the Baker trios match, with high-rev power players Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill and BJ Moore III holding off Portland’s Malott, Bryon Smith and Liz Johnson.

In the decisive three-point five-player team finale, Duke’s strikes on both of his attempts, in the second and seventh frames, were converted into a turkey and a double ultimately made the difference in the Strikers’ 237-219 victory that locked up the Elias Cup.

Portland_Malott.Wes_2017 Elias Cup finals (8)

”Obviously it’s disappointing, but (Dallas) bowled a really good game,” said Portland manager Tim Mack. “They’re defending champions for a reason, but we made them earn it.”

Going into the finals, Duke was concerned about being an underdog in terms of fan support.

“I watched the semifinal match between (Portland) and the (Silver Lake) Atom Splitters, and that was a wow-wow-wow moment,” Duke said of the Lumberjack’s miraculous win. “They pulled it out, and when you have this many people rooting you on, and that much energy flowing their way, it’s hard to say destiny wasn’t on their side.

“But my group never flinched. They just kept at it. They’re champions, all of them.”

Duke’s passion for PBA League competition has continued to grow over the program’s five-year history, which is interesting considering he had least amount of team experience throughout his career of any player in the league. He never experienced high school, collegiate or Team USA competityion.

“That’s why you see so much excitement from me,” the PBA Hall of Famer said. “I’m 53 and slowing down a bit, but not when you jack me up like that. I feel like I’m 17 again. This is the kind of atmosphere we all want to play in front of. This league thing is going to take off; we all know it and it’s going to grow.”

Winning the MVP award, he added, took him completely by surprise.

duke“The MVP out of that group? No way,” he said. “Normally I wouldn’t put myself in position to win an award like that, but my crew kept saying, Norm, you’re throwing it last. We debated until the end, but my guys liked the way my ball was getting through the pins and they liked my chances, so that’s what happened.”

During the Elias Cup finals, Bayside Bowl co-owners Charlie Mitchell and Justin Alfond, along with PBA CEO and Commissioner Tom Clark, announced the sixth annual PBA League finals will return to Portland in 2018 on dates to be announced.

The PBA Tour resumes competition with the inaugural eight-player Main Event PBA Tour Finals May 19-20 at Main Event-Orlando, Fla., which will air on five consecutive Tuesdays at 9:30 p.m. EST on CBS Sports Network beginning May 30, followed by a pair of PBA Xtra Frame Storm Cup events, the PBA Xtra Frame Wilmington Open from Ten Pin Alley in Wilmington, N.C., May 26-29, and the PBA Xtra Frame Jonesboro Open from Jonesboro Bowling Center in Jonesboro, Ark., June 2-4. Both Storm Cup events will be covered live, from first ball to last, on PBA’s Xtra Frame video streaming service. Visit xtraframe.tv for subscription information.

L.L.BEAN PBA LEAGUE ELIAS CUP FINALS

Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine (aired Sunday on ESPN)

Final Standings: Shipyard Dallas Strikers ($60,000) def. L.L.Bean Portland Lumberjacks ($50,000), 5-1.

Singles Match (one point): Norm Duke, Dallas, def. Ryan Ciminelli, Portland, 269-247.

Alternate Ball Doubles (one point): Wes Malott/Kyle Troup, Portland, def. Norm Duke/Rhino Page, Dallas, 238-209.

Baker Trios (one point): Dallas (Tommy Jones/Bill O’Neill/BJ Moore III) def. Portland (Wes Malott/Bryon Smith/Liz Johnson), 234-227.

Five-Player Baker Team (three points): Dallas (Bill O’Neill/Norm Duke/Rhino Page/BJ Moore/Tommy Jones) def. Portland (Liz Johnson/Bryon Smith/Kyle Troup/Ryan Ciminelli/Wes Malott), 237-219.

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