Don’t count out the Los Angeles X.
Chris Paul’s Los Angeles pro bowling team will be one of four featured teams on ESPN next Sunday when the PBA League takes part in the Earl Anthony round – the fifth and final qualifying round heading into the Elias Cup finals.
The X will be joined in the stepladder finals by the Dallas Strikers, the Motown Muscle and another team that will advance from the elimination round. It will mark the first round that the X will be part of the stepladder finals.
Chris Paul, the all-star point guard of the Los Angeles Clippers, has some big guns on his squad but they haven’t jelled as a team so far this year. The X, in seventh place in the eight-team league with 14 points, needs a strong finish to move up in the Elias Cup standings.
The New York City WTT Kingpins are in first place with 44 points and the Motown Muscle and BROOKLYN STyLES are tied for second with 33 points. The Dallas Strikers are fourth with 20 points and the Philadelphia Hitmen and Silver Lake (Calif.) Atom Splitters are tied for fifth with 18 points.
The Pittsburgh Jack Rabbits are last with six points.
The top four teams in the standings will vie for the first PBA League title on March 31 at Woodland Bowl in Indianapolis. The Elias Cup finals will be shown on ESPN on April 7.
Several of the X players have made the news recently. Two-handed bowler Jason Belmonte, the X’s franchise player, scored an impressive victory in the United States Bowling Congress Masters tournament last month, earning $50,000. Belmonte defeated his X teammate, Wes Malott, 258-245, in the five-player stepladder finals.
Malott, incidentally, defeated fellow X bowler Parker Bohn III, 255-248, in the second match of the day.
And earlier in the year, L.A. X bowler Andres Gomez defended his title in the Carmen Salvino Classic by scoring a 246-197 victory over D.J. Archer.
Dave Wodka is the fifth member of the X.