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R48 Men’s Pro: Killian Carroll vs. Luis Cordova 2019 San Francisco Semifinal
Cordova raced to a 13-1 lead in game one in the San Francisco semifinal, seemingly finding the bottom board with every swing. “That is the best handball I’ve ever played,” Cordova would later say. “I was just going for everything and everything was rolling out.”
Most players would have licked their wounds after a first-game collapse, but Lucho had other ideas. Cordova built another lead in game two, only to be caught again. Cordova would ultimately force overtime after fighting off game points, scoring the final six points of the game to force a third game.
“The ups and downs of the first two games will never leave me,” stated ESPN play-by-play announcer Dave Vincent.
“The diving, shot making, and high level of play in this match was incredible to watch,” stated R48 Elite 8 pro David Fink. “It was exhausting just watching, I cannot imagine how weary Killian and Lucho must have been. This was just another chapter in what is quickly becoming one of the best rivalries in the sport between two 20-something superstars.”
WR48 #1 Catriona Casey met current Women’s World Champion Martina McMahon in the 2019 Aces Player’s Championship WR48 Final in the first WR48 meeting between the top two stars in women’s since 2017, with McMahon defeating Casey in a tiebreaker in the Tucson Memorial final. McMahon had won all of their major finals in 2018, sweeping the GAA All Ireland titles and winning the World Championship, defeating Casey in each final. Casey exacted revenge two months prior to the Aces Player’s Championship, defeating McMahon in a thrilling tiebreaker to win the 2019 All Ireland 40×20 Championship.
“Martina is always such a tough competitor and I’m delighted to have won today,” stated Casey to ESPN’s Kara Mack.
With the WR48 “Match of the Year” win, Casey won her 18th WR48 title (in 20 WR48 events), her sixth consecutive WR48 Player’s Championship and her sixth consecutive WR48 Player’s Cup, making her the most dominant Race 4 Eight star in history and perhaps the world’s most dominant athlete.
David Fink and Marcos Chavez met for the sixth consecutive SR48 final, dating back to Fink’s first SR48 start in February of 2018 in Las Vegas. Fink and Chavez entered the 2019 Aces Player’s Championship final ranked #1 and #2 on the SR48 tour, respectively, as well as #5 and #7 on the R48 tour, respectively. “We have never seen two SR48 stars currently ranked in the R48 Elite 8 and we’ll probably never see it again,” stated WPH Executive Director Dave Vincent.
Fink had defeated Chavez in four of their first five SR48 finals, with the lone loss coming in the 2018 Aces Player’s Championship final—a one-game match to 25 in which Fink led 22-18. Fink was determined to win his first SR48 Player’s Championship, but Chavez was not about to relinquish his crown.
Chavez blitzed Fink to start the match, seizing a 12-1 lead and holding Fink to just three service innings. “I was so sore this morning and wasn’t really sure if I’d even be competitive,” Chavez would later say.
Fink slowly turned the momentum after Chavez’ hot start, cutting the deficit to six at 7-13 and 8-14. “I always felt like I could come back to win the game, even at 1-12,” stated Fink. “Marcos was playing so well to start that there really wasn’t anything I could do.”
Fink fought off six game points to tie the score at 14, four of which saw Chavez miss kill shot attempts by one inch. “I felt like I played my best handball of the tournament when facing those game points,” stated Fink. “I defended his serve well and even though he barely missed those kill shot attempts, they were tough shots I forced him to take.”
Chavez would take a 15-14 lead and earn a seventh opportunity to win the game but could not score the final point, as Fink scored the final three points of the game, the third being a right-hand kill from the short line.
“When I saw the WPH Player’s Championship Belt a few weeks prior to the Player’s Championship, I really wanted to win it,” stated Fink. “After coming up short in last year’s final, it feels great to have won the big one.”
Expect many more incredible matches in the upcoming 2019/20 Race 4 Eight 9 season, with the action starting in just four months!
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WPH RACE 4 EIGHT: The World Players of Handball’s 2019/20 Patreon.com/WPHLive.com Race 4 Eight 9 will feature Race 4 Eight stops in Georgia, Oregon, Arizona, Montana, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, New York, and Texas, culminating with The Player’s Championship in a TBD location in the May of 2020. 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.
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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