First PBA League Trade Finalized: Walter Ray Back with BROOKLYN STyLES, Osku Returns to Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits

by Bill Vint November 6, 2014 04:50

CHICAGO – The first trade in the 2015 PBA League program has been finalized, with BROOKLYN STyLES manager Johnny Petraglia bringing PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. back to his former team in a trade with Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits’ manager Tim Mack, who got his 2013 franchise player, Finland’s two-handed star Osku Palermaa, in return.

Under PBA League rules, trades are permitted until November 30.

With Williams, the all-time leader in PBA Tour titles (47) back in the fold, Brooklyn’s roster now includes Sean Rash, Tom Smallwood, Parker Bohn III, Jason Sterner, and Williams while Pittsburgh’s roster features Wes Malott, Dan MacLelland, Ryan Ciminelli, Bryon Smith and Palermaa.

The PBA League Elias Cup competition is set for March 28-29 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine. All rounds of PBA League competition will be televised on ESPN on four consecutive Sundays, beginning on March 29.

2015 PBA LEAGUE ROSTERS (REVISED)

BROOKLYN STyLES (manager Johnny Petraglia): Sean Rash, Tom Smallwood, Parker Bohn III, Jason Sterner, Walter Ray Williams Jr.

Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits (manager Tim Mack): Wes Malott, Dan MacLelland, Ryan Ciminelli, Osku Palermaa, Bryon Smith.

L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Patrick Allen, Andres Gomez.

Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Mika Koivuniemi, Tom
Daugherty, Dick Allen, Craig Nidiffer.

Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett, Chris Loschetter, Dave Wodka, Ryan Shafer, Rhino Page.

Barbasol Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): E.J. Tackett, Ronnie Russell, Josh Blanchard, John Szczerbinski, Mike DeVaney.

Dallas Strikers (player-manager Norm Duke): Bill O’Neill, Tommy Jones, Michael Haugen Jr., Norm Duke, Shawn Maldonado.

GEICO New York City WTT KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Mike Fagan, D.J. Archer, Scott Norton, Amleto Monacelli.

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BROOKLYN STyLES Make Sean Rash No. 1 Pick in 2015 PBA League Draft; Pittsburgh Takes Wes Malott No. 2

by Bill Vint October 31, 2014 08:51

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 31, 2014) – Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill., was the first of 40 players selected in the 2015 PBA League Draft, held Friday at South Point Bowling Plaza. Eight PBA League teams will compete for the Elias Cup in two days of competition at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, March 28-29.

Draft order was determined by a random drawing. The BROOKLYN STyLES are managed by PBA Hall of Famer Johnny Petraglia, who was watching the draft along with a crowd at Bayside Bowl. Petraglia was represented at South Point by his son, John Petraglia Jr., who lives in Las Vegas.

“It’s an honor to be picked No. 1,” said Rash, who was re-united with his Brooklyn team and manager. “I’m looking forward to a great PBA League competition. We have a great team. We’re excited. We have great chemistry, and now we’ll see what happens.”

Wes Malott of Pflugerville, Texas, who earned the No. 1 berth in the 2014 PBA World Championship finals a day earlier at South Point, was the first pick of the Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits’ manager Tim Mack.

With the third pick, L.A. X manager Andrew Cain selected Australian two-handed star and leading 2014 PBA Player of the Year candidate Jason Belmonte. Belmonte was L.A. X’s franchise player the previous two years of PBA League competition.

In the No. 4 position, the defending Elias Cup champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters’ manager Mark Baker picked Chris Barnes, keeping his top player on the Silver Lake roster for a third year.

Picking fifth, Philadelphia Hitmen manager Jason Couch selected 2013 PBA World Champion Dom Barrett of England.

In the sixth slot, the Barbasol Motown Muscle’s Del Ballard Jr. picked 2013 PBA Rookie of the Year E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind.

Dallas Strikers’ player-manager Norm Duke then selected Bill O’Neill of Langhorne, Pa.

The final first-round selection was PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber of St. Ann, Mo., picked by GEICO New York City WTT KingPins manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard. By drafting Weber, Dorin-Ballard re-united the KingPins with their top player for the past two seasons. The KingPins won the inaugural Elias Cup in 2013. In the serpentine draft, which reversed the draft order for all subsequent rounds, Dorin-Ballard picked Mike Fagan of Fort Worth, Texas.

The 2015 PBA League competition will feature two days of Baker format team elimination matches with a combined championship match featuring singles, doubles, trio and Baker team contests to determine the Elias Cup winner. All rounds of the PBA League will air on ESPN on a tape-delayed basis.

A special Maine Event Shootout, a match play singles event offering a PBA Tour title, will be held on Monday, March 30, at Bayside Bowl and covered live on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame. All players who were eligible for the draft will be invited to participate in the Maine Event Shootout.

2015 PBA LEAGUE ROSTERS

(Rosters listed in order of player selections)

BROOKLYN STyLES (manager Johnny Petraglia): Sean Rash, Tom Smallwood, Parker Bohn III, Jason Sterner, Osku Palermaa.

Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits (manager Tim Mack): Wes Malott, Dan MacLelland, Ryan Ciminelli, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Bryon Smith.

L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Patrick Allen, Andres Gomez.

Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Mika Koivuniemi, Tom
Daugherty, Dick Allen, Craig Nidiffer.

Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett, Chris Loschetter, Dave Wodka, Ryan Shafer, Rhino Page.

Barbasol Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): E.J. Tackett, Ronnie Russell, Josh Blanchard, John Szczerbinski, Mike DeVaney.

Dallas Strikers (player-manager Norm Duke): Bill O’Neill, Tommy Jones, Michael Haugen Jr., Norm Duke, Shawn Maldonado.

GEICO New York City WTT KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Mike Fagan, D.J. Archer, Scott Norton, Amleto Monacelli.

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Excitement Begins to Build as PBA Prepares for First-Ever Visit to Maine for PBA League Elias Cup Finals

by Bill Vint October 3, 2014 03:36

PORTLAND, Maine – Excitement over the PBA’s first-ever visit to Maine began to rise Thursday when PBA Commissioner Tom Clark met with business and tourism leaders and the news media to announce plans for the 2015 PBA League’s Elias Cup championship weekend March 27-29 at Bayside Bowl in Portland.

“We are very pleased with the interest of Maine businesses and the bowling industry to share our commitment to bringing the PBA to this market,” Clark told the gathering. “Maine is very attractive to the PBA as a destination to showcase the best bowlers in the world to a growing and vibrant bowling fan community.”

The PBA League event will involve a limited field of 40 players, but those 40, Clark noted, will include the best bowlers in the world. Among them will be PBA Player of the Year Jason Belmonte of Australia, Osku Palermaa of Finland, Sean Rash, Chris Barnes, hall of famers Pete Weber and Norm Duke, among others.

“This would be the equivalent of (golfers) Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy playing at Riverside,” said Charlie Mitchell, owner of the Bayside Bowl, a contemporary 12-lane bowling center that will provide an intimate, arena-style setting for the team competition.

Shamrock Sports and Entertainment owner Brian Corcoran, who played a key role in securing the event for Portland, said a national PBA event could be held at Bayside because “unlike the Super Bowl that needs a (gigantic) stadium, the unique nature of the PBA is that you can take it anywhere.”

Only two lanes will be used and most of the remaining space will be devoted to the needs of television and spectator seating. Mitchell expects the entire event to be a sell-out. Tickets will be available soon via Bayside’s website, baysidebowl.com.

Mitchell said the decision to host the event was an easy one to make.

“If you had a small first-class gym and had a chance to get the Celtics, you would,” he said. “This is something special. It’s having the pinnacle of the sport right here.”

The event is expected to draw an estimated $1.5 million to the local economy, according to Lynn Tollitson, the CEO of the Portland Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“March is a very slow season for us, so this comes at a time when thousands of hotel rooms would sit empty,” she said in the release. “This PBA event is going to be a great shot in the arm to our retail shops and restaurants at the right time.”

The PBA League consists of eight teams of five players each. They will compete for a projected $250,000 in prize money over the March 27-29 weekend. Four rounds of PBA League competition will be conducted for delayed telecast on ESPN on four consecutive Sundays: March 29, April 5, 12 and 19. The rosters for the PBA League team will be determined during a draft that will take place on Friday, Oct. 31, during the PBA World Series of Bowling VI in Las Vegas. The draft will be webcast live on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame.

Bowling fans in Maine will be able to watch the draft during a special “draft party” hosted by Bayside Bowl on Oct. 31 at 3 p.m. Eastern (noon Pacific).

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2015 PBA League Draft Set for Live Xtra Frame Coverage on October 31

by Bill Vint August 28, 2014 08:58

SEATTLE – Who will be the first player selected when the Professional Bowlers Association conducts its 2015 PBA League Draft on Friday, Oct. 31, during the PBA World Series of Bowling VI? Reigning Player of the Year Jason Belmonte? Hall of Famer Pete Weber? A left-hander, right-hander, budding future star?

A live international audience watching the third annual PBA League draft on PBA’s online bowling channel, Xtra Frame, will be the first to know as eight team managers select all-new team rosters in preparation for the PBA Tour’s first-ever visit to the state of Maine.

The eight-team PBA League will compete in two days of team competition for delayed telecast on ESPN on Saturday and Sunday, March 28-29, at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.

The PBA League in 2015 will feature the same eight teams it fielded during its first two seasons, but the only thing about the teams that will remain the same is their names and team managers. After a random draw to determine the draft order, managers will fill their rosters with five players who will compete in Maine in two days of intense competition featuring Baker-format elimination rounds leading to the Elias Cup Finals. The Elias Cup will be decided by points earned in singles, doubles, trio and Baker team matches.

Highlights of the 2015 program include:

● The 2015 draft will be held on Friday, Oct. 31, during PBA WSOB VI at South Point in Las Vegas and carried live on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel. Team managers will be: Mark Baker (defending Elias Cup champion Silver Lake Atom Splitters), Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (GEICO New York City WTT KingPins), Johnny Petraglia (Brooklyn STyLES), Norm Duke (Dallas Strikers), Tim Mack (Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits), Jason Couch (Philadelphia Hitmen), Andrew Cain (L.A. X) and Del Ballard Jr. (Barbasol Motown Muscle).

● Players eligible for the 2015 PBA League Draft will be the top 50 in PBA Tour competition points between the 2013 World Series of Bowling V and the 2014 Oklahoma Grand Casino and Resort Summer Swing, plus any player who was on a PBA League roster for 2014, but didn’t qualify based on points (see the complete draft-eligible player list below).

● For the draft, eligible players will be ranked based upon their position on the points list. The first player elected by each team must be taken from the group of players ranking 1-10 on the points list. The second player drafted will come from the group ranked 11-20 in points, plus any undrafted players from group one. The third player drafted will come from those ranked 21-30 in points. The fourth player will come from those ranked 31-40 in points, and the fifth player will come from the players ranked 41-50 and previous team members not among the points leaders. Players undrafted in each round will be eligible in the following round, expanding the pool of players as each round continues. The draft exception will be Dallas player-manager Norm Duke, who finished 39th on the points list, will draft himself in the fourth round.

● The only draft-eligible woman on the list is Colombia native Clara Guerrero, who last year became the third woman in history to bowl in a nationally-televised final when she qualified for the PBA Cheetah Championship stepladder in WSOB V, eventually finishing fourth.

● Draft-eligible players must declare their desire to participate in the PBA League. Players may begin declaring for the draft on October 1. The deadline to declare is October 15.

● A random draw will determine the team draft order. The draft will then be conducted in “serpentine” format whereby Team No. 1 will pick first in the first round and last in the second round, and Team No. 8 will pick last in the first round and first in the second round, etc.

In the 2015 PBA League playoffs, players will compete for a projected $250,000 in prize money.

The three-day visit to Portland will include a day of practice and pro-am activity where Maine adult, youth and senior league bowlers will have a chance to bowl with the stars of the PBA, followed by two days of Baker-format team competition for delayed telecast on ESPN. The quarterfinal round will include four best-of-two-game Baker team matches, with all five players bowling two frames per game. The four winning teams will advance to the two-game, Baker format semifinal round which will produce two winners to bowl for the Elias Cup.

The Elias Cup will be decided based upon total pinfall for a singles match (with 10 bonus pins to the winner), alternate-shot doubles match (15 bonus pins), trios match (20 bonus pins) and five-player Baker team match (50 bonus pins).

● ESPN will televise the PBA League quarterfinal, semifinal and Elias Cup Finals on four consecutive Sundays, March 29, April 5, 12 and 19.

2015 PBA LEAGUE SCHEDULE

Friday, October 31
PBA League Draft, South Point Bowling Center, Las Vegas (live coverage on Xtra Frame)

Competition Schedule, Bayside Bowl, Portland, Maine
Friday, March 27
9 a.m. – Practice Session
Tba – Pro-Am squads

Saturday, March 28 (best of two games, Baker format; one-ball roll-off breaks ties)
Noon – Quarterfinal Match One: Team 1 vs. Team 8
    Quarterfinal Match Two: Team 5 vs. Team 4
4:30 P.M. – Quarterfinal Match Three: Team 2 vs. Team 7
    Quarterfinal Match Four: Team 6 vs. Team 3

Sunday, March 29
Noon – Semifinal Match One: Winner Match One vs. Winner Match Two (best of two games, Baker format; one-ball roll-off breaks ties)
    Semifinal Match Two: Winner Match Three vs. Winner Match Four (best of two games, Baker format; one-ball roll-off breaks ties)
4:30 p.m. – Elias Cup Finals: Winner Semifinal One vs. Winner Semifinal Two, total pinfall (singles, 10 bonus pins; alternate-shot doubles, 15 bonus pins; trios, 20 bonus pins; Baker team, 50 bonus pins)

2015 PBA LEAGUE DRAFT-ELIGIBLE LIST
(based upon PBA Tour competition points earned between 2013 WSOB IV and 2014 PBA Summer Swing)

PBAL Group One
1, Jason Belmonte, 138,842
2, Dom Barrett, 101,973
3, E.J. Tackett, 71,757
4, Sean Rash, 69,465
5, Wes Malott, 67,665
6, Tom Smallwood, 64,909
7, Pete Weber, 62,824
8, Bill O'Neill, 61,324
9, Chris Barnes, 60,008
10, Ryan Ciminelli, 55,551

PBAL Group Two
11, Tommy Jones, 49,557
12, Mike Fagan, 47,609
13, Ronnie Russell, 40,795
14, Dick Allen, 38,557
15, Mika Koivuniemi, 38,312
16, Chris Loschetter, 37,853
17, Dan MacLelland, 33,955
18, Stuart Williams, 33,396
19, Tom Daugherty, 29,836
20, Josh Blanchard, 28,529

PBAL Group Three
21, Dave Wodka, 27,129
22, Martin Larsen, 26,777
23, Michael Haugen, 26,634
24, Thomas Larsen, 25,653
25, Parker Bohn, 25,579
26, D.J. Archer 25,070
27, Brian Valenta, 24,034
28, Brian Kretzer, 22,806
29, Shawn Maldonado, 22,190
30, Nathan Bohr, 22,054

PBAL Group Four
31, Jake Peters, 21,780
32, Jason Sterner, 21,759
33, Tom Baker, 21,546
34, Ryan Shafer, 21,386
35, Walter Ray Williams Jr., 21,186
36, Lee Vanderhoef, 21,054
37, Scott Norton, 20,717
38. Patrick Allen. 20.600
39, Norm Duke, 20,543
40, John Szczerbinski, 19,444

PBAL Group Five
41, Eugene McCune, 19,387
42, Craig Nidiffer, 18,826
43, Bryon Smith, 18,218
44, Osku Palermaa, 17,076
45, Rhino Page, 16,860
46, Dino Castillo, 16,684
47, Clara Guerrero, 16,262
48, Anthony Lavery-Spahr, 15,726
49, Jesse Buss, 15,168
50, Andres Gomez, 15,067

Draft Eligible (2014 PBAL team member)
53, Michael Machuga, 14,279
57, Mike DeVaney, 13,035
63, Amleto Monacelli, 11,337
77, Mike Scroggins, 9,262
79, Brad Angelo, 8,969

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Silver Lake Atom Splitters Sweep Philly Hitmen, Advance to PBA League Elias Cup Finals Vs. L.A. X

by Bill Vint April 6, 2014 06:55

ALLEN PARK, Mich. – Chris Barnes and his Silver Lake Atom Splitters teammates swept the Philadelphia Hitmen in the final Professional Bowlers Association League semifinal match to earn a berth in the 2014 Elias Cup finals against Jason Belmonte and his L.A. X team.

The final semifinal round match at Thunderbowl Lanes aired Sunday on ESPN. The all-Los Angeles area battle for the Elias Cup will air on ESPN on Sunday, April 13, at 2 p.m. ET.

After finishing in sixth place among eight teams in the 2013 introductory PBA League season, the Atom Splitters, presented by Spiceworks and owned by Internet podcast innovator and television host Chris Hardwick, bolstered their 2014 lineup with the addition of former PBA Players of the Year Tommy Jones and Wes Malott, and won 11 of a possible 12 points in matches against the Dallas Strikers and the Hitmen, presented by High 5 Gear, to advance to the Elias Cup finals at Brunswick Zone Carolier in North Brunswick, N.J.

“Our team keeps getting better as we go,” Barnes said. “We’ll switch venues for the Elias Cup, which will have an impact. Carolier hooks a lot less than Thunderbowl does. As far as L.A. X’s fearless leader (Australian two-handed star Belmonte) is concerned, that’s not much of a deal, but I don’t know about the rest of their team. They have a lot of good shot-makers, but so do we. I think we’re down to the two strongest teams.”

Belmonte agreed.

“The Atom Splitters are a stacked team,” the L.A. X team leader said. “I feel our performance speaks for itself. If there’s a team that’s going to give (Silver Lake) a run for their money, it’s us.”

L.A. X, presented by GoBowling.com, eliminated the BROOKLYN STyLES and the defending Elias Cup champion New York City WTT KingPins in earning its berth in the Elias Cup finale.

Barnes gave Silver Lake a 1-0 lead by winning the singles match against Philadelphia franchise player Bill O’Neill. Barnes survived a 3-4-6-7-10 split in the sixth frame after throwing five strikes to start the game. After he failed to convert the split, he threw another string of four strikes for a 248-236 win.

In alternate ball doubles, Philadelphia’s Josh Blanchard and Ryan Ciminelli threw back-to-back strikes in the ninth and 10th frames to overcome the Atom Splitters’ one-pin lead, but Barnes and partner Bryon Smith answered with three strikes in their 10th frame to pull out a 228-226 win for a 2-0 lead.

Silver Lake’s Tommy Jones, Dom Barrett and Wes Malott started the Baker trios contest with six strikes, building a 53-pin lead, and held on for a 233-216 win over Ciminelli, O’Neill and Dan MacLelland for a 3-0 lead.

The Atom Splitters completed the sweep with a convincing 247-224 victory in the Baker team finale. Smith, Barnes, Barrett, Malott and Jones struck on eight of their first nine shots and Silver Lake never gave the Hitmen a chance.

“We’re five players deep,” Barnes said. “We didn’t bowl very well in our first match (against Dallas), but we survived that. We figured that was as bad as it could get, so we threw everyone back out there and it worked out. We just don’t like to lose. Ever.”

PROFESSIONAL BOWLERS ASSOCIATION LEAGUE SEMIFINAL MATCH TWO
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich.

Final Standings
Silver Lake Atom Splitters presented by Spiceworks def. Philadelphia Hitmen presented by High 5 Gear, 6-0.

Singles Match (one point)
Chris Barnes, Silver Lake Atom Splitters, def. Bill O’Neill, Philadelphia Hitmen, 248-236.

Alternate Ball Doubles (one point)
Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Chris Barnes/Bryon Smith) def. Philadelphia Hitmen (Ryan Ciminelli/Josh Blanchard), 228-226.

Baker Trios (one point)
Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Tommy Jones/Dom Barrett/Wes Malott) def. Philadelphia Hitmen (Ryan Ciminelli/Bill O’Neill/Dan MacLelland), 233-216.

Five-Man Baker Team (three points)
Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Bryon Smith/Chris Barnes/Dom Barrett/Wes Malott/Tommy Jones) def. Philadelphia Hitmen (Dan MacLelland/Mike DeVaney/Josh Blanchard/Bill O’Neill/Ryan Ciminelli), 247-224.

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