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Day 3: Sunday
R48 #4 Lucho Cordova was seeking his second R48 title of his R48 career in his third R48 final, while R48 #6 Vic Perez was appearing in his first final.
Perez called a timeout at 8-4 and promptly tied at the score at eight. Cordova took control after being tied, scoring seven of the final eight points of the first game by tracking down nearly all of Perez’s shots and executing kills when given the opportunity to take a one-game lead.
Cordova maintained control of the match in game two, breaking away from Perez after being tied at four. “I was able to defend his two-wall lob serve better than my brother last night so he wasn’t able to get any setups,” declared Lucho.
Cordova surged to the win to claim his second R48 title and second title of the season.
With the victory, Lucho leaped over Danos for the #3 spot on tour, while Perez climbed into the R48 top five for the first time.
5th Place Final: Iglesias def Chavez 25-14
9th Place Final: Esser def Palma 25-11
R48LTE New Orleans Finishes
1st: L. Cordova
3rd: D. Cordova/Fink
7th: Canales, Jr./Garcia Jr.
SR48 #1 David Fink was aiming his fourth SR48 title in five SR48 starts, while his five-time SR48 finals adversary Marcos Chavez was in quest of his 11th SR48 title.
Fink put his disappointment from his tiebreaker loss to Lucho the previous night behind him, dominating the SR New Orleans final. Fink built huge leads in both games behind a well-placed serve to the left and steady and explosive play during the rallies.
“Marcos was one point from advancing to the semifinals in the R48LTE yesterday so I knew he was playing great ball,” stated Fink. “I felt like I played as well as I could play today. I’m excited for Tucson in three weeks and the rest of the R48 and SR48 season.
Final: Fink def Chavez 15-3, 15-4
George Garcia toppled Pate Papathemetrios for third, while Mike Benkelman took fifth in the SR’s.
3rd: Garcia, Jr.
3rd Place Final: Garcia Jr. def Papathemetrios 25-17
5th Place Final: Benkleman def Arroyo 25-11
Former college football and basketball star Tex Bussey defeated rising star Jacob Garcia to win the A singles, Kyra “K3” Vidas teamed with Jair Cano to win the B doubles, and Leo Canales, Jr. won a special “King of the Court” pro doubles competition in which the four players played three games with three different partners.
Huge thanks to WPH New Orleans tournament director Kyra “K3” Vidas, New Orleans handball ambassador Bob Caluda, the Ochsner Fitness Center for their outstanding hospitality, the WPH, the MO State handball team for making the 10-drive from Springfield, MO, and all of the R48, SR48, and amateur players for making the trip to New Orleans. What a tournament!
Follow all of the results from the 2019 R48LTE/SR48 New Orleans Mardi Gras HERE
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(Note: WPH Will not be filming the New Orleans event due to internet upgrades and remodel during our handball weekend. We will, however, try to film for upload at a later time. If we are able to record some files, we will release them to Patreon members first)
WPH Senior Writer
(Updated Rankings Post NOLA ’19) (Click Image to Expand)
New Orleans, LA, WPH Press, 2/16/19-
Day 2: Saturday
Top-seeded Danos Cordova cruised to the semifinals with wins against Mike Benkelman and R48 #15 Leo Canales, as Danos was seeking his second R48 title in three starts.
Vic Perez and Marcos Chavez met for the fourth time this season for a spot in the upper bracket semifinal. Perez had won their first three encounters this season, but the newly minted R48 Elite 8’er Marcos Chavez was aiming to end Perez’s streak.
Chavez led 14-7 in game one and held off a late Perez six-point rally to take game one. Perez took control of game two, leading 14-9 and stood on the verge of forcing a third game. Chavez caught fire, scoring six straight to serve for the match at 15-14. Chavez had two back wall opportunities to end the match but Perez was able to stay alive, earning the side out and scoring three straight to force a third.
Little separated the LAAC teammates in the tiebreaker, as the pair was tied at 11. Perez survived, scoring the final four points of the match and becoming the 16th place to face match point in a R48 main draw match and win.
David Fink avenged his loss from the 2018 Portland R48 against good buddy Jonathan Iglesias, overcoming the Vail superstar in two games to advance to the bottom bracket semifinals.
Lucho Cordova played solid ball in eliminating current 35-and-over and 40-and-over national champion George Garcia, Jr. to setup a clash with Fink in the bottom bracket semifinals.
Perez changed his game in the third, hitting a two-wall lob serve and pushing Danos in the back court with power passes. Perez was flawless in the tiebreaker, never ceding control and advancing to his first R48 final. “Vic is the hottest player on the tour right now, he’s just so steady,” barked Chavez.
Game two was all Fink, as the lefty found the bottom board consistently from shoulder height to force a third.
Fink led 5-1 in game three before Lucho turned the tide, scoring the final 14 points of the match with a dominating serve and shoot clinic to advance to his second R48 final of the season.
Elite Men’s Results:
Cordova def Canales 15-9, 15-6
Perez def Chavez 13-15, 17-15, 15-11
Fink def Iglesias 15-7, 15-7
Cordova def Garcia, Jr. 15-2, 15-0
Perez def D. Cordova 15-12, 2-15, 15-5
Cordova def Fink 15-12, 5-15, 15-5
Final: Perez vs. L. Cordova (11 am CST)
Marcos Chavez defeated Leo Canales, Jr. for the second consecutive event and will face Jonathan Iglesias for 5th place on Sunday morning, while MO State’s Sam Esser will face CA’s Ricardo Palma for ninth.
SR48 #1 David Fink and SR48 #2 Marcos Chavez will play one another in the fifth consecutive SR48 final, as Fink overcame junior rival and good friend Pete Papathemetrios; meanwhile, Chavez nabbed CA rival George Garcia Jr.
Mike Benkelman defeated Atlanta’s Sergio Arroyo to win fifth in the Senior’s, while Papathemetrios and Garcia will play on Sunday morning for third.
Fink def Papathemetrios 15-1, 15-3
Chavez def Garcia, Jr. 15-13, 15-4
Final: Fink vs. Chavez (10 am CST)
New Orleans tournament host Bob Caluda honored
The WPH and the R48 pros were proud to honor New Orleans handball ambassador and tournament host Bob Caluda with the WPH Appreciation Award, recognizing Bob’s outstanding commitment to growing the game and welcoming the world’s best players to New Orleans. “The WPH has been coming to New Orleans since 2009 and Bob always make us feel so welcome,” stated WPH Development Director David Fink. “Bob puts so much into hosting these great events and our organization and players are so grateful. Thank you Bob!”
Day 1: Friday
The first ever R48LTE commenced on Friday in New Orleans, as well as the second SR48 stop on the 2018/19 SR tour. The R48 and SR48 pros kicked off the N’awlins stop by spending Friday afternoon on Bourbon Street, taking in the Crescent City culture and creole cuisine.
Friday’s on-court action saw R48 #5 David Fink advancing to the R48LTE quarterfinals in a two-game sweep against the LAAC’s Ricardo Palma, while R48 #8 and SR48 #2 Marcos Chavez advanced to the quarterfinals of the R48LTE and the semifinals of the SR48. R48 #6 Vic Perez also moved into the LTE quarterfinals with a Friday night win against Pete Papathemetrios.
Ten of the R48’s top pros and the top three SR48 stars will be in action on Super Saturday in New Orleans. Watch the action live on the #TeamR48 page on Facebook HERE
Stay tuned to this thread throughout the weekend for updates!
2019 R48LTE/SR48 New Orleans Mardi Gras press release HERE
R48LTE explained HERE
Lucho Cordova on the Rise HERE
The Flying Cordovas: From Juarez Bros to R48 Pros HERE
2018/19 Race 4 Eight Preview HERE
2017/18 R48 and WR48 Match Analytics HERE
Race 4 Eight Pro Player Bios HERE
WPH Power Rankings HERE
DF’s R48 Fun Facts and Trends HERE
Race 4 Eight History of Champions and Finalists HERE
For more information on the WPH Race 4 Eight, please contact World Players of Handball Executive Director David Vincent at firstname.lastname@example.org or World Players of Handball Development Director David Fink at email@example.com. For more information on the World Players of Handball, please visit wphlive.tv
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Check out all of the important 2019 R48LTE + SR48 8 New Orleans Mardi Gras tournament information below.
2018/19 Race 4 Eight Elite Stats HERE
WPH RACE 4 EIGHT: The World Players of Handball’s 2018/19 Race 4 Eight 8 Powered by ESPN features R48 stops in Georgia, Arizona, Oregon, Montana, Louisiana, and California, all culminating with The Player’s Championship in Utah in May of 2019. Similar to NASCAR’s Nextel Cup and the FedEx PGA Playoffs, players earn points in the Race 4 Eight’s regular season stops to qualify for the season-ending Player’s Championship and bonus prizes.
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