LAS VEGAS – From team chemistry to versatility to experience, eight team leaders of the Professional Bowlers Association League program rounded out their rosters for 2014 Sunday night at South Point Bowling Center, adding the fifth member of their teams in a PBA League draft to close the PBA World Series of Bowling V.
Drafting in reverse order of how they finished during the inaugural league season in 2013, Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits’ manager Tim Mack opened the draft by selecting three-time PBA Tour winner Eugene McCune of Munster, Ind.
“It’s incredibly difficult because of the talent available,” Mack said, “but I feel Eugene is a non-sense kind of guy who can do a lot of things with a bowling ball. He’ll fit great with the Jack Rabbits.”
Philadelphia Hitmen’s manager Jason Couch then selected 2011-12 PBA Rookie of the Year Josh Blanchard of Gilbert, Ariz.
“Josh is a class act and a phenomenal bowler. I’ll throw him into our lineup at any time,” Couch said. “He’s just awesome.”
With the third pick, Silver Lake Atom Splitters manager Mark Baker selected 2003 USBC Masters champion Bryon Smith of Roseburg, Ore.
“We aren’t shy of personalities, so we needed a guy who can hang with our lineup,” Baker said. “Byron’s a great talent, can play any part of the lane and he’ll be an asset to our team.”
L.A. X manager Andrew Cain selected 21-year-old PBA Tour rookie E.J. Tackett of Huntington, Ind.
“E.J. is definitely an upcoming talent. With all of the experience on our team, E.J. will add a lot of energy,” Cain said. “He’s fearless and he isn’t afraid to throw it for the money.”
In the fifth position, BROOKLYN STyLES franchise player Sean Rash selected three-time PBA Tour titlist Michael Haugen Jr. of Phoenix.
“Michael has been a great player for a number of years,” Rash said. “He can do more than throw it straight; he’ll be a great addition to our team.”
Picking in sixth position, Dallas Strikers franchise player-manager Norm Duke selected one-time Tour winner Dave Wodka of Henderson, Nev.
“Dave is a standout. He has all of the experience we need,” Duke said. “He has a great demeanor and a great attitude.”
Del Ballard Jr., picked for last year’s runner-up, the Motown Muscle, picked PBA Tour winner Tom Daugherty of Wesley Chapel, Fla.
“He’s a Roto Grip guy and all of our guys know our equipment, so why not go with that?” Ballard said. “Plus I like a guy with attitude.”
The defending champion New York City WTT KingPins’ manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard completed the draft by picking one-time Tour winner Jake Peters of Decatur, Ill.
“We decided from the beginning to go with very little ego and team chemistry, and that’s why we chose who we did,” Dorin-Ballard said.
The 2014 PBA League season is scheduled to get underway Jan. 22 at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., and will make its ESPN debut with a live telecast on Sunday, Jan. 26, at noon ET.
Preceding the start of the PBA League season will be a new Detroit Open singles tournament, presented by Xtra Frame, Jan. 17-19, at Thunderbowl Lanes. The Detroit Open will be an open-field PBA Tour title event beginning with a nine-game qualifying round on Saturday, Jan. 18, followed by a 16-player, nine-game match play round, concluding with a four-player stepladder final. The entire event will be webcast live on Xtra Frame.
For complete live coverage of the Detroit Open and all preliminary PBA League rounds, subscribe to Xtra Frame. Monthly subscriptions are available for $7.99 and the full-year subscription cost is $64.99. To enroll, visit pba.com and click on the Xtra Frame link.
2014 PBA LEAGUE ROSTERS
No. 8 Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits
Manager Tim Mack, owner LaMarr Woodley. Roster: No. 1, Osku Palermaa, Finland. No. 2, Ronnie Russell, Marion, Ind. No. 3, Patrick Allen, Wesley Chapel, Fla. No. 4, Martin Larsen, Sweden. No. 5, Eugene McCune, Munster, Ind.
No. 7 Philadelphia Hitmen
Manager Jason Couch, owner Kevin Hart: No. 1, Bill O’Neill, Langhorne, Pa. No. 2, Ryan Ciminelli, Cheektowaga, N.Y. No. 3, Dan MacLelland, Canada. No. 4, Mike DeVaney, Hemet, Calif. No. 5, Josh Blanchard, Gilbert, Ariz.
No. 6 Silver Lake Atom Splitters
Manager Mark Baker, owner Chris Hardwick. No. 1, Chris Barnes, Double Oak, Texas. No. 2, Wes Malott, Pflugerville, Texas. No. 3, Tommy Jones, Simpsonville, S.C. No. 4, Dom Barrett, England. No. 5, Bryon Smith, Roseburg, Ore.
No. 5 L.A. X
Manager Andrew Cain, owner Chris Paul. No. 1, Jason Belmonte, Australia. No. 2, Mika Koivuniemi, Finland-Hartland, Mich. No. 3, Parker Bohn III, Jackson, N.J. No. 4, Andres Gomez, Colombia. No. 5, E.J. Tackett, Huntington, Ind.
No. 4 BROOKLYN STyLES
Manager Johnny Petraglia, owner Jesse Williams. No. 1, Sean Rash, Montgomery, Ill. No. 2, Jason Sterner, McDonough, Ga. No. 3, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Ocala, Fla. No. 4, Tom Smallwood, Saginaw, Mich. No. 5, Michael Haugen Jr., Phoenix.
No. 3 Dallas Strikers
Manager Norm Duke, owner Terrell Owens. No. 1, Norm Duke, Clermont, Fla. No. 2, Rhino Page, Dade City, Fla. No. 3, Mike Machuga, Erie, Pa. No. 4, Amleto Monacelli, Venezuela. No. 5, Dave Wodka, Henderson, Nev.
No. 2 Motown Muscle
Manager Del Ballard Jr., owner Jerome Bettis. No. 1, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas. No. 2, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio. No. 3, Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y.. No. 4, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas. No. 5, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla.
No. 1 New York City WTT KingPins
Manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard, owner Billie Jean King. No. 1, Pete Weber, St. Ann, Mo. No. 2, Scott Norton, Mission Viejo, Calif. No. 3, Stuart Williams, England. No. 4, John Szczerbinski, North Tonawanda, N.Y. No. 5, Jake Peters, Decatur, Ill.