T. Bastidas is surrounded by HOF player, J. Durso and http://www.wegotnextproductions.com/Main.html's crew after one of his great comebacks at the Coney Island handball courts.
This year’s competition proved to be one of the toughest competitions in recent years for T. Bastidas as he had to come back from a deficit of at least nine points to tie and win his games.
Although, Bastidas is young and full energy, he usually takes a while to warm up to get into his game. This year’s comebacks were close enough to win or lose the games. Coach M. Watson has always pointed out to Bastidas in the past “play until the end, the game is not over until is over” said Watson.
Tyree's greatest comebacks of 2011:
Mayor’s Cup – semis – J. Kaplan vs. T. Bastidas
J. Kaplan started very strong from the beginning and built a lead of at least nine points, only to be tied and outplayed by Bastidas with a very close game, 25-23. Must people thought Kaplan was going to come back and take back control of the game, but Bastidas closed out the game as Kaplan tried his own come back in the last five minutes.
USHA National One-Wall Championships – quarterfinals - J. Wright vs T. Bastidas
John Wright (rookie) made sure he came back strong in his second game against Bastidas. He took off as soon as the referee started the game and built a decent lead of at least nine points. Then Bastidas started to catch up with him little by little. Soon, Rookie’s fans became frustrated when he was having trouble closing the game and Bastidas was closing in. They couldn’t understand that Rookie was playing small ball against national champion T. Bastidas. In the end, Bastidas cough up with J Wright and won the match in two games.
USHA National One-Wall Championships – semis – C. Sala vs. T. Bastidas.
C. Sala, a national champion of the game took advantage of Bastidas’slow start and built a solid lead of 15-6, and when everyone thought Cesar was going to take the game, Bastidas reversed the lead to 20-19 on his favor. Sala tied the score at 20, but couldn’t score the last point. Bastidas advanced to the finals.
H.E.S. One-Wall Pro Stop – finals – J. Kaplan vs. T. Bastidas.
Once again, these two titans met at the last open tournament of the year and once again J. Kaplan rushed to score as many points as he could, building a lead of 9-0 on his favor. Bastidas wasted no time to mount a ferocious counter attack where later on he found himself leading also by nine points. Kaplan stepped up his game to score 20, but Bastidas made sure he closed out the game first along with his successful 2011 one-wall handball season.
One-wall HS players showed up to play four-wall handball.
B. Asijsafe returns ball to Jon Sese in the finals of the B singles.
C. Sala might be down but he won his match against R. Retian.
J. Bastidas takes the ball off the wall against B. O'Donnell.
Danielle puts the ball at the left corner as Sandy Ng watches.
Sandy Ng scoops the ball off the side-wall as D. Ten waits her turn.
The LIO took place during the last week of January where players got together to play with two different balls (small and big ball). The four-wall tournament started early on Saturday morning and ended on Sunday afternoon. As is the past, the LIO offered the best hospitality and best matches prior to the famous New York State Handball Hall of Fame Championships to be held during the last weekend of February.
Familiar faces showed up at the semis and finals games. Several high school players registered for the first time and were happy to participate in it. S. Hossain (15 years old), a 1-wall star, reached the finals but was defeated.
The surprise of the tournament was D. Ten, who played in a field full of young players eager to win an open title. Dori reached the finals of both events: (big and small ball), and won a title playing with the big ball.
Another surprise of the tournament was D. Vera who became the new 50+ champion after taking defending champion M. Angley to the tiebreaker.
Jon Sese, a 1-wall player and college student also surprised the audience with his smooth game style. It was his first time playing 4-wall. He dared himself to play in the B division and walked out victorious after holding B. Ajisafe in the final. Someone in the 4-wall community should take a close look at this talented player. T. Bastidas already invited him to practice 3-wall during the summer.
Women and men's Doubles Champions.
The H.E.S. opened its doors to host another handball tournament this past Sunday, December 4th. There were two parts to this exciting event: USHA 1- Wall Ranking event, which began outdoors on Thanksgiving weekend and the Sky Bounce Big Ball Doubles International Team Invitational, which included teams from Israel, Ukraine, China, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, America, Peru, Italy, Ecuador, and Dominican Republic
In the men’s singles final, Joe Kaplan, always the favorite was on fire and amassed a 9-0 lead against the Tyree Bastidas, who managed to catch up and battled to 14 all. Bastidas pulled away to 24-14. When the third ball was put into the game and it seemed to favor Kaplan, who was able to pull within reach and score 20 before falling 25-20.
On the women’s side, there wasn’t much that could stop Dori Ten, who outmatched all the competitors and easily overpowered Annie Huang in the finals to capture the crown with the score of 25-10.
The second part of the tournament kept up the energy at the H.E.S. gymnasium with teams from all over the world. In both the men’s and women’s division teams, Puerto Rico dominated all competition to capture the titles in their divisions. In the women’s final Lori Acevedo (Puerto Rico) and Maggie Crespo defeated Adrian Floyd (USA) and Karen McConney with a score of 21-6.
In the men’s division (Puerto Rico) Herman Mendez and Gio Vazquez defeated Eddie Neville (USA) and Rookie Wright with a final score of 25 -12 to capture the crown. Thanks to the H.E.S., USHA Hall of Fame member Albert Apuzzi and all the competitors for putting together this wonderful event.
A group of handball players and contributors in the 1-wall community have made a big contribution to our sport and to the community at large.
Both volunteers and handball players are recognized for their efforts in elevating up the sport of handball and for helping kids to stay out of trouble.
“Our success over the years has been the result of their support and we truly hope that it will continue. We are only successful as they make us.” said Bastidas.
Above: P. Williams serves as a referee at the PSAL championship matches.
Karen McConney poses for our cameras at the Annual Dinner Awards.
Above: Dwight Worley addresses the audience during the night of celebration at the One-Wall Dinner Awards.
Paul Williams: The winner of various national titles and President and Founder of the Inner City Handball Association “ICHA” is the biggest contributor in the handball community. He has managed to have the most successful 1-wall program in the U.S, through which many handball players have come from. He also serves as the tournament director of the most prestigious 1-wall pro stops (small ball). He has served in the board of directors as Vice-President of the USHA.
Karen McConney: She has national open titles with the small and big ball as well as World titles.
She serves as tournament director of various handball tournament throughout the city and has devoted much of her time to organize tournaments to get people involve with the game.
Currently, she is a member of the 1-wall handball committee that oversees and organizes different handball events which includes the Annual Dinner Awards.
She is also part of 1-wall committees of other local handball organizations and an active player of the game, where she is still considered a potential threat to any player.
Dwight Worley: He is a long time player and President of the St. Albans Handball Association (SAHA), the biggest big ball handball organization in the country. D. Worley’s involvement in the handball community dates back to the 70s, where he is considered the engine behind the big ball handball community.
Worley’s love and devotion for the sport has been published in the internet and handball magazines. He’s been known to put up cash prizes out of his own pockets to help run handball tournaments.
D. Worley is the tournament director of the most prestigious big ball handball tournament in the city and perhaps in the U.S. “King of the Courts”, where only the best players of the game show up to play to show their loyalty to the biggest supporter of the big ball game. The tournament usually draws more than 50 open players.
From left: Two of the greatest players of the game; 4-wall player Danny Bell of Canada and 1-wall player Tyree Bastidas of the U.S.
Canadian national champion D. Bell may be playing in the open once again and it could be the last opportunity for handball fans to watch a living legend vie for a national championship title.
D. Bell is considered one of the greatest handball players in North America. He debuted in the Pro tour in the early 80s and he is probably the oldest player from the old pro tour to play in the Canadian nationals. Bell is a native of Quebec, which is a short driving distance from Montreal, where the tournament will take place.
His best weapon during a game at any given time is his ceiling shot, which sends players to the back scrambling to get the ball.
During a private interview in New England, he stated that the only teenagers to have beaten him in the open during his handball career were: David Chapman, David Fink and Tyree Bastidas.
Recently, several injuries have kept D. Bell from competing at the national level. He is one of the few 4-wall national champions to have come to challenge the best 1-wall players at the USHA National One-Wall Championships in New York.
Canadian handball officials are expecting a record number of players coming from various countries.
Congratulations to the following players for having managed to defeat D. Bell at an open 4-wall tournament, when they were teenagers:
David Chapman – 4-wall player- Long Beach, California.
David Fink – 4-wall player – Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Tyree Bastidas – 1-wall player – Brooklyn, New York.