ALLEN PARK, Mich. – The Professional Bowlers Association League, which made its debut in 2013 as the organization’s first team competition, returns to Thunderbowl Lanes in suburban Detroit Jan. 25-27 with a new “win-or-go-home” television format.
In 2014, teams representing Detroit, Los Angeles, Dallas, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Brooklyn and the Southern California resort community of Silver Lake will try to take down the defending champion New York City WTT KingPins in a unique series of head-to-head single-elimination matches featuring singles, doubles, trios and five-man team matches – all televised on ESPN.
The KingPins, with owner Billie Jean King cheering them on, won the inaugural Elias Cup with a two-game 440-407 victory over the Motown Muscle.
The 2014 PBA League schedule will debut as part of PBA Tournament of Champions week at Thunderbowl, where a series of six single-elimination matches will be contested to narrow the field to the two 2014 Elias Cup finalists. The Elias Cup finals will be held on Sunday, Feb. 23, at 10:30 a.m. at Brunswick Carolier Lanes in North Brunswick, N.J., prior to the live telecast of the United States Bowling Congress Masters finals.
In the new format for 2014, each team match will include a singles match between the franchise players for each team, an alternate-ball doubles matches, and Baker format trios and five-player team matches. One point will be awarded to the winner of the singles, doubles and trios matches, and three points for the five-player team winner. In case of ties, team managers will select one player for a one-ball, sudden-death roll-off to decide the winner.
The opening match of the new season will pit L.A. X, led by Australia’s Jason Belmonte, against the BROOKLYN STyLES, led by Sean Rash, at 5 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 25, at Thunderbowl. At 8 p.m., Pete Weber and the defending champion KingPins will take on the hometown favorite Motown Muscle, with Mike Fagan in the No. 1 role.
Following live ESPN coverage of the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions on Sunday, Jan. 26, at noon, the PBA has scheduled a new “PBA Super Clash” event at 4:30 p.m. that will air on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2, along with a “Best of PBA Chris Paul Celebrity Invitationals” telecast – replacing the traditional Chris Paul PBA League All-Stars telecast that was postponed due to Paul’s recent injury.
Also on Sunday, Chris Barnes and the Silver Lake Atom Splitters will meet Norm Duke and the Dallas Strikers at 7:30 p.m.
PBA League coverage continues Monday at 1:30 p.m. with the battle of Pennsylvania: Bill O’Neill and his Philadelphia Hitmen vs. Osku Palermaa and the Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits, followed by two semifinal round matches. The L.A. X-STyLES winner will meet the KingPins-Muscle winner at 4:30 p.m. followed by the Atom Splitters-Strikers winner vs. the Hitmen-Jack Rabbits winner at 7:30 p.m. The two semifinal round winners will advance to the Elias Cup Finals in New Jersey.
Tickets for the Barbasol PBA Tournament of Champions and all PBA League quarterfinal and semifinal rounds at Thunderbowl Lanes in Allen Park, Mich., Jan. 25-27, are available on pba.com, or by calling Thunderbowl Lanes (313-928-4688). Click on the “tickets” link for complete details.
For additional information about the PBA League, visit pba.com and click on The League under the “bowlers” tab.
PBA LEAGUE SCHEDULE
Thunderbowl Lanes, Allen Park, Mich., Jan. 23-27 (all times are ET)
(Elias Cup Finals: Brunswick Carolier Lanes, N. Brunswick, N.J., Feb. 23)
Thursday, Jan. 23
3 p.m. – Official PBA League practice session
Saturday, Jan. 25
10 a.m. and 2 p.m. – Pro-Am squads
5 p.m. – PBA League Quarterfinal Match: L.A. X vs. BROOKLYN STyLES (ESPN telecast Sunday, Feb. 9, 3 p.m. ET)
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.
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.
8 p.m. – PBA League Quarterfinal Match: New York City WTT KingPins vs. Motown Muscle (ESPN telecast Sunday, Feb. 16, 3 p.m. ET)
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.
Motown Muscle: Manager Del Ballard Jr., owner Jerome Bettis. No. 1, Mike Fagan, Fort Worth, Texas. No. 2, Chris Loschetter, Avon, Ohio. No. 3, Brian Kretzer, Dayton, Ohio. No. 4, Mike Scroggins, Amarillo, Texas. No. 5, Tom Daugherty, Wesley Chapel, Fla. (Kretzer replaces Ryan Shafer, Horseheads, N.Y., who is unable to participate due to family emergency).
Sunday, Jan. 26
Noon – PBA Tournament of Champions stepladder finals, live on ESPN
4:30 p.m. – PBA Super Clash (ESPN telecast Sunday, Feb. 2, 4 p.m.)
7:30 p.m. – PBA League Quarterfinal Match: Silver Lake Atom Splitters vs. Dallas Strikers (ESPN telecast Sunday, March 2, 3 p.m. ET)
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.
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.
Monday, Jan. 27
1:30 p.m. – PBA League Quarterfinal Match: Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits vs. Philadelphia Hitmen (ESPN telecast Sunday, March 23, 1 p.m. ET)
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.
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.
4:30 p.m. – PBA League Semifinal Match One, Winner Quarterfinal Match One vs. Winner Quarterfinal Match Two (ESPN telecast Sunday, March 30, 4:30 p.m. ET)
7:30 p.m. – PBA League Semifinal Match Two, Winner Quarterfinal Match Three vs. Winner Quarterfinal Match Four (ESPN telecast Sunday, April 6, 1 p.m. ET)
Sunday, Feb. 23
10:30 a.m. – Elias Cup Finals, Brunswick Carolier Lanes, N. Brunswick, N.J. (ESPN telecast Sunday, April 13, 2 p.m. ET)