PBA League teams will be scrambling for berths in the Elias Cup finals when the final round of PBA League qualifying airs Sunday at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN along with the championship match of the Earl Anthony Players Championship from Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit.
The telecast will begin with the Clash eliminator round where 11 players will compete in a one-ball, low-man-out competition. Rounds continue until one survivor remains; his team then becomes the No. 4 team in the PBA League stepladder final.
Teams will be represented in the Clash round on a weighted basis, based on their finishing position in the qualifying round. In the Earl Anthony round, the fourth-place Silver Lake Atom Splitters will have four players in the Clash field, the Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits will have three, the Brooklyn STyLES two and the New York City WTT KingPins and Philadelphia Hitmen one each.
The winner of the Clash round will then bowl the opening Baker team match against Jerome Bettis’ Motown Muscle (Mike Fagan, Tom Smallwood, Mike Scroggins, Ronnie Russell and Jesse Buss).
The match one winner advances to meet Chris Paul’s L.A. X (Jason Belmonte, Wes Malott, Andres Gomez, Parker Bohn III and Dave Wodka) in the semifinal.
The semifinal winner will challenge the qualifying leader, Terrell Owens’ Dallas Strikers (Norm Duke, Amleto Monacelli, Rhino Page, Bryon Smith and Mike Machuga).
The Atom Splitters or the Philadelphia Hitmen have a chance to knock out the Strikers for the fourth spot for the Elias Cup Finals. Those teams will have their work cut out for them however as they will need to defeat Dallas in the stepladder finals of the Earl Anthony Round. But to do that, a representative of these teams team will have to win the Clash Round just to gain the No. 4 spot in the stepladder. The KingPins, the STyLES and Muscle have already secured their spots in Indy while L.A X and Pittsburgh have been mathematically eliminated from advancing.
After four rounds of PBA League competition, the KingPins lead with 44 points followed by Motown Muscle and BROOKLYN STyLES tied at 33, Dallas Strikers, 20, Philadelphia Hitmen, and Silver Lake Atom Splitters, 18, L.A. X, 14 and Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits, 6.
The top four teams will advance to the Elias Cup finals. Points available in the qualifying round include 12 to the winner, 8 for second place, 6 for third place, 5 for fourth and 4, 3, 2 and 1 for the final four places.
The Elias Cup, named in honor of PBA founder Eddie Elias, will be contested at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis on March 31 following the live telecast of the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions stepladder finals, and will air on Sunday, April 7 at 1 p.m. ET on ESPN.
Concluding Sunday’s two-hour telecast will be the Earl Anthony PBA Players Championship title match between two-time PBA Tour titlist Scott Norton of Mission Viejo, Calif., and reigning PBA Player of the Year Sean Rash of Montgomery, Ill.
Three easy steps to enhance your PBA telecast experience:
1) Tune into pba.com’s Xtra Frame for a free pre-game preview of the Earl Anthony Players Championship and Earl Anthony PBA League round.
2) Watch the Earl Anthony Players Championship finals and PBA League round on ESPN Sunday at 1 p.m. ET.
3) Tune into the post-event show at Sunday 3 p.m. ET. Xtra Frame’s post-tournament show interviews the winning player and provides in-depth ball rep analysis of the winner’s equipment selection and ball preparation.
Bowling fans can get additional Tour coverage on pba.com and provide their feedback on PBA Tour telecasts through PBA’s social networking platforms on Facebook and Twitter.