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Hollywood Beach, FL, WPH Press, 1/14/18- Sunday featured the conclusion of the WPH Outdoor Castle Hill Florida Cup, as the world’s best 1-Wall stars battled for titles in eight pro divisions. Cool and windy early morning and late evening temperatures challenged players and fans but could not prevent incredible handball throughout the day.
Men’s Big Ball Singles
Top-seeded Timbo Gonzalez overcame Carlos Pena in the upper bracket semifinal, holding off a late “Los” rally to cruise to the final. “I had him 10-0 and he started hitting this serve that I couldn’t see because of the sun,” stated Timbo.
Third-seeded Hector Velez continued to demonstrate that he is one of the game’s elite stars, taking down Kadeem Bush in the bottom bracket semifinal. “I came here to win this event and nothing is going to stop me,” declared Velez.
Gonzalez and Velez have transitioned from friendly rivals to contentious adversaries in the past year, as Velez has closed the gap between the two. “I’ve studied Timbo’s game for years and I know everything he is going to do,” declared Velez.
Velez controlled the action from the outset in the final, building a 7-4 lead and maintaining his advantage throughout the one-game final. Velez continued to add to his lead by anticipating Timbo’s shots, while being impervious to the relentless trash-talk. Velez led 14-7 and ultimately reached championship point at 20-12. Following a short serve, Velez hit his second serve and killed a weak Gonzalez return to defeat Gonzalez in a major for the first time. Gonzalez was irate following the final point, demanding a replay after arguing that the referee failed to call “second serve.” “It’s unfortunate that after all of the times I’ve lost to him (Gonzalez) that he can’t give me credit for my win,” lamented Velez. “I’m really happy to win and I have a great team that supports me. Thank you to the WPH and Castle Hill for an incredible tournament.”
Gonzalez def Pena 21-17
Velez def Bush 21-15
Final: Velez def Gonzalez 21-12
Men’s Big Ball “A” Finishers
Women’s Big Ball Singles
Danielle Daskalakis advanced to the final to face her student, Jessenia Garate. The teacher and student played the match of the tournament, with both ladies dazzling the gallery with spectacular shots. The lead changed hands six times before arriving at 17-all. Daskalakis ended consecutive rallies with running left-handed kills from three feet outside the left side line to take a 19-17 lead. Not to be outdone, Garate hit a sensational right-handed kill from four feet outside the right side line to earn a side out. Daskalakis won the final two rallies of the match to seal the title.
Daskalakis def Figueroa 21-4
Garate def Torres 21-12
Final: Daskalakis def Garate 21-18
Women’s Big Ball “A” Finishers
2nd: J. Garate
Men’s Small Ball Singles
The Florida Cup Small Ball Singles featured three players in the Race 4 Eight top seven, as well as a strong contingent of New York small ball stars. David Fink emerged in the upper bracket, taking down Spain’s Sacha Kruithof and Andres Calle, while Carlin Rosa eliminated Daniel Cordova and Luis Cordova en route to the final in the bottom bracket. Fink was unable to locate his serve in the final, while Rosa hit 18 aces in 25 points. “I just couldn’t return his serve,” stated Fink. “It was too fast, too low, and when I did return it, Carlin killed the next shot.”
Fink def Calle 25-11
Rosa def L. Cordova 25-18
Final: Rosa def Fink 25-8
3rd: Calle def Luis Cordova 21-19
Men’s Small Ball “A” Finishers
4th: L. Cordova
Women’s Small Ball Singles
Current 1-Wall world champion Danielle Daskalakis met 11-time 1-Wall singles national champion in a blockbuster women’s small ball singles final. Very little separated the good friends in the final, with neither was able to separate herself by more than three points en route to a 20-20 tie. Daskalakis was able to score the final five points of the match by applying pressure and keeping the ball on the wall. “I’m just frustrated because I feel that was a match I could have won,” stated Davis. “I was swinging free and playing well, and when the score was 20-all, I started thinking too much and telling myself not to miss and that’s what I started doing.”
Daskalakis def Figueroa 21-1
Davis def Garate 21-1
Final: Daskalakis def Garate 25-20
Women’s Small Ball “A” Finishers
Men’s Big Ball Doubles
Timbo Gonzalez and James Aguilera met Tywan Cook and Carlin Rosa in the Big Ball Doubles final. Team Gonzalera played with unity and passion in ousting Team Coosa. The foursome produced a number of the best rallies of the tournament, with all four often on the floor multiple times in the same rally. “I finally played well in the final,” stated Aguilera. “I felt like I couldn’t wake up and get my feet moving in the earlier rounds but I was on my game in the final.
Final: Gonzalez/Aguilera def Rosa/Cook 21-10
Men’s Big Ball Doubles “A” Finishers
3rd: Velez/Pena, Sanford/Bermudez
Women’s Big Ball Doubles
Team Quasia Watson and Emerald Roberts prevented a Daskalakis women’s slam, as Team Quasia/Roberts overcame Team Daskalakis/Ruiz to win their first yellow jerseys. Team Quasia/Roberts played brilliantly, particularly in the late goings to seal their first WPH Outdoor title together.
Fimal: Team Quasia/Roberts def Team Daskalakis/Ruiz 21-18
Women’s Big Ball Doubles “A” Finishers
1st: Quasia Robetrts/Watson2nd: Daskalakis/C. Ruiz
The 25-team Pro Mixed Doubles field was trimmed to two by Sunday evening, as Timbo Gonzalez and Ms. Vee faced the tournament’s most animated and intense performers Tina Torres and Carlos Pena. Team Torres/Pena led 12-8 when Gonzalez announced they “were about to crack” during a four-point Gonzalez streak. Team Torres/Pena regrouped, scoring the final nine points of the match to stun Timbo and Ms. Vee to win the title.
Final: Team Torres/Pena def Team Gonzalez/Figueroa 21-12
Mixed Doubles “A” Finishers
Men’s Small Ball Doubles
Carlin Rosa and David Fink met for the second time in a small ball final on Sunday, with Rosa teaming with Tywan Cook and Fink with Timbo Gonzalez. Just as he did in the singles, Rosa dominated with help from the dynamic Cook, building a 16-0 lead and holding off a late Fink/Gonzalez rally to secure Rosa’s second yellow jersey of the day.
Final: Rosa/Cook def Fink/Gonzalez 21-10
Small Ball “A” Finishers
Huge thanks to tournament directors Riche Vera and Mike Dembin for working tirelessly for months leading up to the Florida Cup and 18-hour days at the event. Thank you to tournament desk managers Broadway Anna and Kathy Zerega and to Antonio Navarro for filming throughout the weekend. Thank you to all of the players and volunteers throughout the weekend.
Stop #2 on the 2018 WPH Outdoor 7 tour is just 13 days away, as the WPH Outdoor tour heads to the IceMan Challenge in Stockton, CA. The WPH Outdoor elite will compete in 4-Wall singles and doubles for WPH Outdoor ranking points and yellow jerseys.
Enter the January 27-28 WPH Outdoor IceMan here
To see the WPH Outdoor List of Champions, go here
To view the 2018 WPH Outdoor rules, player bios, schedule, and more, go here
WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup: The World Player’s of Handball’s WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup Series was formed in 2012 to showcase the game’s best 3-Wall Big Ball Stars. Since 2012, the WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup Series has hosted 37 events in California, Mexico and Nevada, setting the stage for hundreds of top big ball stars to compete against one another in professional, competitive and family-friendly events that promote sportsmanship and community spirit while inspiring the next generation of players. The WPH Outdoor 7 season features nine events in Florida, California, Arizona, Utah, New York, and Nevada. To see the full 2018 WPH Outdoor schedule, click here
All WPH Outdoor events host JR WPH clinics with WPH Outdoor elite players serving as mentors and coaches. WPH outdoor events also feature junior tournament divisions starting at nine-and-under for boys and girls.
For more information on the WPH Outdoor Player’s Cup Series, please contact World Players of Handball Executive Director David Vincent at firstname.lastname@example.org or World Players of Handball Development Director and WPH Outdoor Director David Fink at email@example.com. For more information on the World Players of Handball, please visit wphlive.tv
WPH SR Reporter
WPH Outdoor Castle Hill Florida Cup Updates
Hollywood Beach, FL, WPH Press, 1/13/18- The 2018 WPH Outdoor 7 kicked off in beautiful Hollywood Beach, FL with the WPH Outdoor Castle Hill Florida Cup, featuring 110 of the best men’s and women’s big ball and small ball singles and doubles players in the world at one of handball’s greatest outdoor venues. “This is like heaven on earth,” stated WPH ambassador and Hollywood Beach resident Vic Leboisky. The action kicked off in the early morning and the matches extended well into the Hollywood Beach evening.
Men’s Big Ball Pro Singles
The Men’s Big Ball Pro Singles started with 37 top players, with the outstanding field reduced to four by the day’s end. WPH Outdoor #2 and Florida Cup top seed Timbo Gonzalez cruised to the semifinals with comfortable victories against George Figueroa, Antonio Ponce, and Iggy Accardi. “My finger is really messed up and I have a pinched nerve in my neck but there’s no way I’m going to look bad when I’m on the court,” stated Timbo.
Second-seeded Kadeem Bush ousted James Aguilera and Rick Cruz en route to a quarterfinal showdown with nextgen superstar Dan Pitre. Pitre placed in all five New York “majors” last summer and proved why against Bush, pushing one of the game’s best players to the limit. “I thought I had him but he got me in the end, 21-18,” stated Pitre.
Third-seeded Hector Velez continued his excellent play from last season in this season’s first stop, overcoming Kyle Perez to face Vic Orr in the quarterfinals. Orr played sensationally in defeating Andres Calle in the round of 16 and nearly earned his second consecutive upset against Velez. Orr served out at 19-20, opening the door for “Pito” to survive until Sunday’s semifinals. “I am predicting a dominating win in the finals tomorrow,” boasted Velez.
Fourth-seed Tywan Cook faced New York rival Carlos Pena in the most intriguing quarterfinal of the afternoon. Cook trailed 5-14 before catching fire, scoring 14 consecutive points to take a 19-15 lead. “Tywan called a timeout after a really hard rally that he won to get 19 and just lost all of his momentum,” stated Gonzalez. “Los” worked his way back into the match, eventually tying the score at 19. Three consecutive furious rallies went the way of Pena, who booked his spot in the semifinal. “I just feel like three bad calls went against me at the end and it’s disappointing because I’m feeling really good,” stated Cook.
Gonzalez def Accardi 21-7
Rosa def Cook 21-19
Velez def Orr 21-19
Bush def Pitre 21-18
Gonzalez vs. Rosa
Bush vs. Velez
Women’s Big Ball Pro Singles
The Women’s Big Ball Pro singles featured current 1-Wall world champion and top seed Danielle Daskalakis seeking her first WPH Outdoor singles title. Daskalakis had little difficulty in overcoming Joanne Ly to reach the semifinals. Daskalakis will face 2017 WPH Volunteer of the Year Veronica Figueroa in the upper bracket semifinals on Sunday morning.
Rising star Jessinia Garate faced 1-Wall legend Brenda Pares Dubose in the women’s most exciting match of the afternoon. Garate controlled the action and built a seemingly insurmountable 19-11 lead. Pares Dubose started chipping away at the lead, serving out the door to the left and earning aces and setups, eventually cutting her deficit to one at 19-20. BPD appeared to hit and ace to tie the game at 20, but after an appeal and a long discussion, the call was overturned, taking the 20th point off the board and forcing a second serve at 19-20. Garate took advantage, earning a quick side out followed by a point to advance to the semifinals.
Second-seeded Crystal Ruiz was bounced in her first match, never finding the consistency to stay in rallies, as Christina Torres dominated the action to advance to her first WPH Outdoor singles semifinal.
Daskalakis def Ly 21-4
Garate def Pares Dubos 21-19
Torres def Ruiz 21-11
Daskalakis vs. Figueroa
Torres vs. Garate
JR WPH Clinic and JR WPH Singles
JR WPH hosted an outstanding junior handball clinic and skills competition for nearly a dozen youngsters on Hollywood Beach’s pristine 1-Wall courts. Top 1-Wall elite stars Timbo Gonzalez and Allan Sanchez led the clinic for the youngsters, teaching the stiff-arm kill, out the door serve, and finishing the clinic by teaming with the youngsters in doubles points. “It’s really great to see the top players taking such an interest in working with the kids,” stated Florida Cup co-tournament director Mike Dembin. “It was really cool to have the kids on the court and enjoying themselves.”
Following the clinic, eight of the juniors played in the first JR WPH ranking tournament of 2018. “Little Solo” cruised to the final in the upper bracket, while LJ Dejesus advanced to the final in the bottom bracket. The youngsters demonstrated outstanding skills and even better sportsmanship during the outstanding match, high-fiving one another on several occasions after good shots. Both junior stars served at 20-20 three times, with LJ ultimately closing out the match and winning the JR WPH Florida Cup title. Congratulations to all of the junior players.
The Men’s Big Ball Doubles, the Women’s Big Ball Doubles, and the Mixed Doubles are down to the final four, while the Men’s Pro Small Ball Singles and Doubles and Women’s Pro Small Ball Singles will start on Sunday. All eight Florida Cup pro brackets will be completed on Sunday. Stay tuned to this thread for updates and recaps.
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