One year after winning the Professional Bowlers Assn. League championship, the Silver Lake (Calif.) Atom Splitters are being broken up.
But then each of the eight league members will field a new team for the 2015 PBA League season.
The PBA made it official Thursday – the league will take part in a third season, which will be televised once again by ESPN. It also provided this shocker: Each team will start fresh with only the teams’ names and managers remaining the same.
In other words, the Atom Splitters will be rebuilding its entire team after Chris Barnes, Wes Malott, Tommy Jones, Dom Barrett and Bryon Smith brought the Silver Lake area of L.A. the 2014 Elias Cup championship.
This means that Barnes, the Atom Splitters’ franchise player the past two seasons, will likely be snatched up by one of the other seven teams. And the same goes for the other members of Silver Lake’s “Dream Team.”
The Atom Splitters won the 2014 league title by defeating cross-town rival Los Angeles X in the Elias Cup. Last year’s X team boasted probably the top player in the league in two-handed bowler Jason Belmonte (shown in photo) of Australia, the team’s franchise player the past two years.
The X also sported Mika Koivuniemi, Parker Bohn III, Andres Gomez and E.J. Tackett. All those players will likely bowl for a new team in 2015.
The league will conduct its draft to assemble its new rosters Oct. 31, during the PBA World Series of Bowling VI. Then the eight teams will compete in two days of league competition March 28-29 at Bayside Bowl in Portland, Maine.
ESPN will show these matches on a delayed basis, beginning March 29. All the telecasts will be held on Sunday, culminating with the Elias Cup finals on April 19.