This event was supposed to be won by big ball players as the title of the event implies.
To the surprised of the big ball players at the courts, all small ball players cornered the men’s open division by turning the big ball event into an all-small ball players championship game. How did that happen?
It was great to see a lot of big ball players show up to the game they love the most (big ball). But there is a big difference about being a big ball 1-wall player and a big ball 3-wall player.
The 1-wall big ball players have all the tools and ingredients to be 3-wall champions, but they don’t have the experience the small ball players have.
Big ball players need to practice and play in more 3-wall events in order to get to know the walls. It doesn’t matter if you are a local or national 1-wall big ball champion. Looked what just happened to all the big ball 1-wall national champions at the Jersey courts this past weekend! All of them were eliminated by the quarter finals or before.
Let’s hope big ball players take advantage and participate in more WPH big ball 3-wall events. They could also drive to the USHA 3-wall nationals so that they can master the walls in the future.
Kim was the surprise of the tournament. He is only 17-year-old but registered to play in two singles events; the 17 and 19-and-under singles divisions.
There aren’t that many players who take their chances in two singles events in this tournament. The only players who have successfully won both events in two consecutive years are: Stan Zavoyskiy and Tyree Bastidas from Midwood High School.
Kim could have pulled this rare accomplishment during the tournament. He played good all day, but in his final game of the day, he had to face Eugene Lau in the semifinals of the 17-and-under. Lau overpowered him throughout the game.
Keep in mind that E. Kim did upset the No 1 seed in the 19-and under division and was expected to keep rolling in the 17-and under.
Congratulations to the new 19-and –under champion.
Players who registered for the doubles event were surprised to hear that Bastidas had withdrawn from competition due to some pain in his legs(nothing serious), and took the opportunity to also register for the singles division.
The singles event that was pushed into late afternoon during the doubles competition was pushed even further to a different weekend as more players were expected to sign up after learning that Tyree Bastidas had vacated the singles division.
With Bastidas out of the competition, no one knows who would reach the championship game to qualify for the big ball 3-wall nationals in Venice Beach, California.
Big ball players, who pride themselves on being the best players on the planet, will have a second opportunity to qualify to go to California, now that Bastidas is out of their way.
It was interesting to see how each brother worked his way around his side of the draw, taken down every team on their way to the finals. Their incredible run took them to the inevitable face off at the championship game.
Both brothers advanced to the finals with partners that defied the imagination.
Tyree played with Bob Lee, an 18-year-old high school friend and Jurell played with Tony Ferrugia, a big ball player who has turned to small ball for more fun and competition.
“These are Jurell’s courts” said Andres Calle, as he watched the game from the gallery.
“Jurell never loses on these courts. He knows the courts better than anybody in the tournament. He works here”
Mr. A. Calle’s statements proved to be true as Jurell and Tony Ferrugia captured the title, the honors, the money and the bragging rights.
Congratulations to the new champions, who played inspired in front of their crowd on their handball courts.