The Dallas Strikers will begin defense of their PBA League Elias Cup championship knowing the core of its team is intact, as player/manager Norm Duke made sure reigning League Mark Roth MVP Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill and himself will be back when the fifth annual PBAL season returns to the newly-reconstructed Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, in April.
2016 PBA League champion Dallas Strikers. From left, Norm Duke, Shawn Maldonado, B.J. Moore, Bill O’Neill and Tommy Jones.
All eight teams named the three players they were allowed to protect from their 2016 five-player rosters on Tuesday.
The two Strikers who also played critical roles in the team’s success last year left unprotected were Shawn Maldonado and B.J. Moore. Those two plus the other unprotected players from 2016 rosters will be placed into the PBAL Draft pool, and will be joined by other PBA members who declare themselves eligible for the Draft by Oct. 11.
The Draft will be covered live on Xtra Frame from South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Nov. 2, where the teams will be filled out after two rounds of selections.
Players protected by their respective team managers include:
- Dallas Strikers (player-manager Norm Duke): Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill.
- NYC WTT KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, John Szczerbinski.
- Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): EJ Tackett, Anthony Simonsen, Josh Blanchard.
- Portland Lumberjacks (manager Tim Mack): Wes Malott, Ryan Ciminelli, Liz Johnson.
- Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Tom Daugherty, Jesper Svensson.
- Brooklyn Styles (manager Johnny Petraglia): Sean Rash, Parker Bohn III, Walter Ray Williams Jr.
- L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen.
- Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett; Tom Smallwood; Chris Loschetter.
Like Maldonado and Moore, other players who were members of 2016 teams, but not protected, will be eligible to re-apply for the 2017 draft.
Those players include Jason Sterner, Jon Van Hees, Matt McNiel, Dick Allen, Rhino Page, Dave Wodka, Osku Palermaa, Bryon Smith, Scott Norton, Mike Fagan, Andres Gomez, Patrick Allen, Ronnie Russell, and Danielle McEwan.
The PBA League draft will be conducted at the conclusion of the PBA Fall Classic presented by South Point Bowling Plaza in Las Vegas. Team managers will draft in reverse order of where they finished in 2016, meaning the defending champion Dallas Strikers will draft last and the eighth-place Philadelphia Hitmen will have the first pick.
The draft order, following Philadelphia, will be L.A. X, the Brooklyn Styles, Silver Lake Atom Splitters, Portland Lumberjacks, Motown Muscle, the 2016 runner-up New York City WTT KingPins and Dallas.
PBA League competition will begin with a new seven-game round-robin team competition on April 13 to determine the seeding for the ESPN television finals, which will be contested April 15-16.
ESPN will air the two quarterfinal rounds of PBA League competition on April 23 and 30, the semifinals on May 7, and the Elias Cup finals on May 14.
The PBA also will stage a PBA League exhibition during the GEICO PBA World Series of Bowling VIII at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno on Dec. 3. That event also will be covered by Xtra Frame, providing fans with an early preview of the competition to come.
A special highlight of the 2017 PBA League program will be the introduction of the new Bayside Bowl “stadium” center in Portland, including a major expansion of the facility’s previous 12 bowling lanes to 20 for the new season.
Additional information about the PBA League will be announced soon through the entire family of PBA Network media outlets.
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