Satish Jagnandan, the only USHA national champion to have won the USHA 1-wall national and the Mayor’s Cup four consecutive years, seems to have retired from handball competition at the Pro level.
A lot has been said about Satish’s ruling of the 1-wall competition since he got his first wake-up call in 2008. Back then, teen sensation (17-years-old) Tyree Bastidas had taken Satish to the tiebreaker. Never before a teen as young as Tyree had reached the Mayor’s Cup championship match, according to Tournament Director, Paul Williams. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tyree and Satish in the finals again” said Williams.
Indeed, Tyree and Satish met one more time at the Mayor’s Cup in 2011, where both players battled to the end, and where Tyree broke Satish’s winning streak and the hearts of many of his followers.
Many people are unaware that Satish has not been able to beat Tyree since the fall of 2009, when Tyree took complete control of the 1-wall competition. Ever since then, the handball community has been waiting for the return of Satish to the spotlight at the national stage, but it is clear by now, it won’t be happening anytime soon.
Champions of the Mayor’s Cup:
1995 Robert Sostre
1998 Kendle Lewis
1999 Joe Kaplan
2000 Kendle Lewis
2001 John Wright
2002 Satish Jagnandan
2003 Cesar Sala
2004 Satish Jagnandan
2005 Cesar Sala
2006 Cesar Sala
2007 Satish Jagnandan
2008 Satish Jagnandan
2009 Satish Jagnandan
2010 Satish Jagnandan
2011 Tyree Bastidas
2012 Tyree Bastidas
Photo by Bill Fand
National champion Pee-Wee (Castro) has been in a down-spiral ever since he won the title last year. Handball players are wondering: why hasn’t he live up to his title?
Pee-Wee Castro was facing a third-game winless streak in Manhattan, when it took on Tyree Bastidas on Sunday afternoon at the Mayor’s Cup championship match, but the trend continued. The winless streak – now his third in three different tournaments, was extended because of his negative approach to the game.
Instead of going on offense to score points, which is how you win games, Pee-Wee went into defensive mode and played as if his primary purpose was not to allow points.
The problem with his defensive approach is that playing to not allow points could mean that you may not lose, but more importantly, you may not win either.
Although Pee-Wee did change his approach and went on the offense in the second game, it was still too little too late
The following tournaments are part of his winless streak:
The 2011 HES 1-wall pro stop
The 2012 Tournament of Champions
The 2012 Mayor’s Cup
Photo by Bill Fand
Tyree Bastidas played great at the big ball national but dumped the game after his opponent kept pushing the referee around with his own calls, questioning the side referees and constantly arguing to slow the game.
There is no doubt that Tyree’s opponent, Ignazio Accardi, is a good big ball player who was surprised by Tyree’s fast big ball game that had Tyree leading 18-5 in just under ten minutes. At this point, Ignazio started calling his own blocks and calls and questioning the line referees, thereby slowing the game in spite the referees’ warning. And after Ignazio exhausted all his time-outs and two of his appeals he found himself serving at 21-21.
Ignazio served a short ball first. Then, he served for the second time and Tyree returned the ball with a powerful shot to the left corner far away from Ignazio’s reach. The referee, Mr. A. Grimm, called a side-out. Ignazio appealed for the third time, and claimed the ball had skipped. Another lengthy argument ensued as the other referees also called for a side-out, and although all the referees unanimously agreed to the side-out, Ignazio kept arguing with the referees for another three minutes until he realized that he couldn’t change the call on his favor.
At this point, Ignazio told the main referee, Mr. Grimm, that he was changing his appeal, and he was not longer appealing for the skipped ball but rather he wanted to appeal his own serve. Another three minutes of questioning started as not all the referees were in agreement. In the end, Ignazio was appeased with the call on his favor. This unfair call was the breaking point for Tyree’s patience and decided to dump the game, point by point, till the final scored of 25-21 was called.
After the game, many handball fans who watched the game, asked Tyree. Why did you dump the game? “If a player is going to beat me, he better do it on the court, not off the court” Tyree said.
“I understand that big ball players are very passionate about the big ball game, but pushing the referees and engaging them in arguments to get them to change their mind is not the way to win a game.”
Indeed, the main referee, Mr. Anthony Grimm, is a good referee for small ball tournaments, but when it comes to big ball games, he always has trouble controlling the players. During the championship game, Mr. Grimm was the main referee for most of the game, but was removed and replaced because one of the players didn’t like one of his calls.After the tournament, Tyree was asked if he too felt that he should have removed the referee from his game “Although, sometimes I don’t agree with some of the referee’s calls, it’s not my style to remove the ref in order for me to win a game” Tyree said.
For the past 62 years, thousands of handball players have played with different handballs offered by the USHA. Among some of the best handballs that people remember playing with were; the Spalding and the 550 balls.
But it wasn’t too long ago, eights years to be exact, that Tyree and Jurell started to play with the small ball. Back then, the official USHA handballs were the USHA Red and the White ball. But soon after, the balls were retired to give way to the new Red and White Ace balls.
But in 2011, the Red and White Ace balls were also discontinued to give way to a friendlier ball, The 21 Ace Ball.
We don’t really know exactly how many different balls the USHA has put out there, but we do know the 21 Ace is a lighter and softer ball on the hands of the players.
Tyree fondly remembers to have won most of his juniors and open tournaments with the above-mentioned balls.
Recently, Tyree and his brother Jurell got a ton of good reviews on the new A-1 balls, including A. Apuzzi’s “The A-1 handball is the best ball around”
“People love playing with this ball. Most players reviewing the ball are open players, but the majority of other players will get an opportunity to play with the new ball pretty soon” said Tyree.
“A few tournaments with the A-1 handbball will be taken place soon after the 1-wall nationals”
For those who want to play with these popular handballs now follow the link below.
With the entry deadline extended to July 23, we couldn’t understand why there was such a low turnout for the 1-wall national.
On July 21, we traveled to the borough of Queens to cover the King of the courts tournament and we met and talked to some junior players about their prospects at the 1-wall national coming up on August 1. To our surprise, they told us they won’t be participating because the entry fee was $80.00 for two junior events.
On July 22, we did a research on this matter and found out what they told us was true. We managed to get in touch with some people on this matter, but only Albert Apuzzi volunteered to get in touch with the USHA.
On July 23, around 4:00pm A. Apuzzi let’s know that in fact, there was a mistake in the entry fee for the junior divisions and that the mistake had just been corrected.
The timing of the correction came too late for most junior players in the area with only eight hours before the deadline expired.
Because of the last minute correction, only six junior players registered to play in one division. The rest of the juniors will have to wait till next year for another opportunity.