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Ojo Caliente, ZA MEX, WPH Press, 9/12/17- The WIF’s WallBall World Cup produced a sensational final on the second weekend in September in Ojo Caliente, ZA MEX between World 1-Wall #1 and WPH Outdoor superstar Timbo Gonzales and Mexican 1-Wall #1 and national hero Ruben Valdez, better known as “El Matador.” Gonzalez cruised to the WallBall World Cup Final by defeating Suup Ortiz in the semifinals, while El Matador defeated Dave Rojas.
A raucous and passionate crowd greeted Gonzalez and El Matador for the highly anticipated final, with the thousands in attendance raining chants of “Matador.” “This feels like a World Cup soccer match,” barked WallBall World Cup videographer and play-by-play announcer Mike DTV Dembin. “You can’t even hear yourself think!”
Valdez surprised Gonzalez early in the one game to 21 final, racing to a 10-2 lead by seizing control of the match with a punch fist serve and a first-strike kill. “El Matador has it all,” stated Dembin during the live broadcast. “He has two great hands and a great serve.”
Gonzalez rallied after a slow start that saw him make six unforced errors in the first 14 rallies of the match. “Timbo needed to get away from the lob return because El Matador was just putting those away,” stated Dembin. “Once Timbo started powering the ball to Matador’s left the match changed.”
Tightening up his game and executing his trademark kills and passes, Gonzalez would take a 17-15 lead, momentarily silencing the several thousand fervent Matador supporters. “This is the first time I’ve seen Matador look tired,” stated Dembin. “He is not even running for the ball.”
Matador called a timeout and returned to play rejuvenated and aggressive, retaking control of the match. El Matador rediscovered the serve that enabled him to build a 10-2 lead, powering fist drive serves deep to the left and short to the right. “The court was extremely slippery and his serve skipped and once you chased down the serve you couldn’t recover to take a step for the next shot,” stated Gonzalez. Matador used his incredible serve and first-strike to score the final six points of the match, including a short angle ace to the right on match point.
“Matador played a great match and I don’t take anything away from him,” stated Gonzalez. “He’s really an inspiration to all of the kids in his city and they deserve to see him win,” stated Gonzalez.
Final: “El Matador” Ruben Valdez def Timbo Gonzalez 21-17
El Matador has registered to play in the 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships in Las Vegas September 21-24, setting up a possible rematch with the 1WallBall defending world champion Gonzalez. “I promise you that the match will be different in Vegas,” stated an emphatic Gonzalez.
The 1WallBall at the 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships will feature not only Timbo and El Matador, but also 2017 Big Blue Ballers champion Kadeem Bush, former world 1-Wall champion Tywan Cook, and New York 1-Wall superstars Billy O’Donnell, Chris Show, Andres Calle, Jurell Bastidas, and Jhon Bermudez. If you can’t make it to Las Vegas, watch all of the action on wphlive.tv
Log onto wphlive.tv, Like the World Players of Handball on Facebook, or follow the WPH on Twitter @dfwph and @wphlive for all of the handball news from on and off the court! The World Players of Handball is a non-profit foundation aiming to grow the game of handball through innovation and inspiring the next generation of players through junior clinics with Certified WPH Coaches, junior tournaments and the Race 4 Eight and WPH Outdoor tours.
WPH Senior Writer
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