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Dallas Strikers bid for third straight Elias Cup title

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Led by player-manager and PBA Hall of Famer Norm Duke, the Shipyard Brewery Dallas Strikers will return to Bayside Bowl in Portland next week in pursuit of a third consecutive Professional Bowlers Association League title, cheered on by the most fun-loving fans in bowling.

The 2018 OceanView at Falmouth PBA League will celebrate its sixth season – and fourth year in Portland – with three days of team competition to decide the 2018 Elias Cup. The PBA League, which is part of the 2018 Go Bowling! PBA Tour schedule, will conclude the PBA’s 38th consecutive year of ESPN coverage with four consecutive Sunday telecasts, including the PBA League Elias Cup finals on Sunday, May 13, at 1 p.m. EDT.

Norm Duke, who won the 2017 Mark Roth PBA League Most Valuable Player Award, will return with a solid core of Dallas Strikers stars including 2016 MVP Tommy Jones, veterans Bill O’Neill and Rhino Page, and newcomer Kyle Sherman of O’Fallon, Mo.

Chasing the Strikers will be the hometown Port Property Portland Lumberjacks, managed by Tim Mack; the Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters, managed by Mark Baker; the Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen, managed by Jason Couch; bowlingball.com L.A. X, managed by Andrew Cain; the GEICO New York City WTT KingPins, managed by Carolyn Dorin-Ballard; the Barbasol Motown Muscle, managed by Del Ballard, and the OceanView at Falmouth Brooklyn Styles, managed by Johnny Petraglia.

Each of the 2018 teams will field a roster of previous team members, but a number of newcomers will get an opportunity to experience Portland’s raucous fans for the first time. Rather than approaching their deliveries in silence, a long-time tradition in professional bowling, Bayside Bowl fans encourage the PBA players with loud chants, slogans and newly-created nicknames while waving “fatheads” and dressing in sometimes strange costumes.

Players who will experience Portland bowling fans for the first time include 2018 PBA Tournament of Champions winner Matt O’Grady of Rahway, N.J., with the Brooklyn Styles; Japanese star Shota Kawazoe with the Motown Muscle; Anthony Pepe of Elmhurst, N.Y., with the NYC KingPins; 2017 PBA Rookie of the Year Matt Sanders of Indianapolis with the Philadelphia Hitmen; AJ Johnson of Oswego, Ill., with the Silver Lake Atom Splitters, and Thailand’s Yannaphon Larp-apharat with the Portland Lumberjacks.

The PBA League’s return to Portland will get underway with the Port Property Portland PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout April 16-18, a singles competition with a PBA Tour title at stake. The Maine Shootout will be covered from start to finish, live on PBA’s Xtra Frame online bowling channel.

On Friday, April 20, all PBA League teams will bowl an eight-game Baker format “seeding tournament” to determine seeding positions for the Baker format single-elimination match play bracket. In Baker format team bowling, each of the five players bowls two frames to complete a game.

The PBAL quarterfinal matches will take place on Saturday, April 21, with the No. 1 seeded team vs. No. 8 and No. 4 vs. No. 5 on the first ESPN telecast that will air on Sunday, April 22. Immediately following on Saturday will be the second round of quarterfinal round matches between team No. 2 vs. No. 7, and No. 3 vs. No. 6.

Those matches will air on ESPN on Sunday, April 29. All quarterfinal matches will be “best-of-two-game” Baker format team contests with a one-ball roll-off if necessary to break any ties.

Saturday’s winning teams will advance to the semifinal round on Sunday at noon. The semifinal round winners will then bowl for the Elias Cup later on Sunday. The semifinal matches will air on ESPN on Sunday, May 6, with the Elias Cup finals airing on May 13, also at 1 p.m. ET.

All of the PBA League matches will be live streamed as they happen on ESPN3 and the ESPN app. At the conclusion of the competition, the PBA will announce the Mark Roth PBA League Most Valuable Player.

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Port Property Management PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout Schedule

Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, USA (April 16-18, 2018)

Monday, April 16, 2018
10 a.m. – Maine Shootout official practice session
1 p.m. – Port Property Management PBA Xtra Frame Maine Shootout draw party (to determine pairings for single-elimination match play)
4 p.m. – Full Plates Full Potential pro-am

Tuesday, April 17, 2018
10 and 11:30 a.m., 2:30 and 4 p.m. – Round of 64 best-of-three-game single elimination matches
7 and 8:30 p.m. – Round of 32 best-of-three-game single elimination matches

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
11 a.m. – Round of 16 best-of-three-game single elimination matches
2 p.m. – Round of 8 best-of-three-game single elimination matches
6 p.m. – Semifinal round best-of-three-game single elimination matches
7:30 p.m. – Championship match, best of three games

Oceanview at Falmouth PBA League Schedule

Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine, USA (April 20-22, 2018)

Friday, April 20, 2018
7 p.m. – OceanView at Falmouth PBA League seeding tournament (8 games, Baker team format to determine pairings for PBA League competition)

Saturday, April 21, 2018
Noon – PBA League Quarterfinal Match 1, Teams #1 vs. #8 (best of two games, Baker format; ESPN telecast Sunday, April 22, 1 p.m. ET)
PBA League Quarterfinal Match 2, Teams #5 vs. #4 (best of two games, Baker format; ESPN telecast Sunday, April 22, 1 p.m. ET)
3:30 p.m. – PBA League Quarterfinal Match 3, Teams #2 vs. #7 (best of two games, Baker format; ESPN telecast Sunday, April 29, 1 p.m. ET)
PBA League Quarterfinal Match 4, Teams #6 vs. #3 (best of two games, Baker format; ESPN telecast Sunday, April 29, 1 p.m. ET)

Sunday, April 22, 2018
Noon – PBA League Semifinal Match #1, Winner Match #1 vs. Winner Match #2 (best of two games, Baker format; ESPN telecast Sunday, May 6, 1 p.m. ET)
PBA League Semifinal Match #2, Winner Match #3 vs. Winner Match #4 (best of two games, Baker format; ESPN telecast Sunday, May 6, 1 p.m. ET)
3:30 p.m. – PBA League Elias Cup Championship (ESPN telecast Sunday, May 13, 1 p.m. ET)

2018 PBA League Rosters

OceanView at Falmouth Brooklyn Styles (manager Johnny Petraglia): Parker Bohn III, Walter Ray Williams Jr., Sean Rash, Matt O’Grady, Jason Sterner.

Barbasol Motown Muscle (manager Del Ballard Jr.): EJ Tackett, Francois Lavoie, Anthony Simonsen, Shota Kawazoe, Josh Blanchard.

GEICO NYC WTT KingPins (manager Carolyn Dorin-Ballard): Pete Weber, Marshall Kent, Sam Cooley, BJ Moore, Anthony Pepe.

bowlingball.com L.A. X (manager Andrew Cain): Jason Belmonte, Stuart Williams, Martin Larsen, Jakob Butturff, Osku Palermaa.

Sysco Philadelphia Hitmen (manager Jason Couch): Dom Barrett, Tom Smallwood, Ronnie Russell, Matt Sanders, Chris Loschetter.

Go Bowling! Silver Lake Atom Splitters (manager Mark Baker): Chris Barnes, Jesper Svensson, Tom Daugherty, Dick Allen, AJ Johnson.

Port Property Portland Lumberjacks (manager Tim Mack): Ryan Ciminelli, Wes Malott, Kyle Troup, DJ Archer, Yannaphon Larp-apharat.

Shipyard Brewing Dallas Strikers: player-manager Norm Duke, Tommy Jones, Bill O’Neill, Rhino Page, Kyle Sherman.

History of PBA League Elias Cup Champions

2013 NYC WTT KingPins presented by GEICO (Tommy Jones/Jack Jurek/John Szczerbinski/Scott Norton/Pete Weber/Kelly Kulick)

2014 Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Bryon Smith/Chris Barnes/Dom Barrett/Wes Malott/Tommy Jones)

2015 Bass Pro Shops Silver Lake Atom Splitters (Mika Koivuniemi/Chris Barnes/Craig Nidiffer/Tom Daugherty/Dick Allen)

2016 GoBowling.com Dallas Strikers (Norm Duke/Bill O’Neill/Shawn Maldonado/BJ Moore/Tommy Jones)

2017 Shipyard Brewing Dallas Strikers (Norm Duke/Bill O’Neill/Rhino Page/BJ Moore/Tommy Jones)

History of Mark Roth PBA League MVP Award Winners

2014 Chris Barnes
2015 Dick Allen
2016 Tommy Jones
2017 Norm Duke

Author: Herbert Bickel
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