This tournament proved once again to be one of the most important events in the calendar. It’s no wonder is one of the oldest tourneys in the U.S., where players from several states converge to compete for the honors.
This year Nikolai Nahorniak from Des Plains, Chicago and defending champion, Tyree Bastidas from Brooklyn, New York faced each other once again in the last two months.
In March, 2013, Tyree defeated Nikolai back in NY at the Annual NYAC tournament. This time Nikolai turned the tables on Tyree by defeating him in a thrilling tiebreaker.
Most of the thrilling action started at match point when N. Nahorniak was serving at 20-12 in the second game. “I’m not going to go down in this game” Tyree said to himself.
T. Bastidas regained the serve and began coming back little by little to the surprise of the audience. In a blink of an eye, 20-12 had become 20-20. A monumental choke was unfolding that threatened to force a third game, quite possibly rip the heart of Nikolai and his fans once and for all and make you wonder whether it might take another 6 years before Nikolai could defeat Tyree. Nikolai hasn’t been able to beat Tyree in 4-wall competition (singles) since 2007.
In the end Tyree forced the tiebreaker, only to be met with a fast and furious Nikolai who desperately fought to win at all cost.
With Bastidas serving at a disadvantage score, 9-10, he served to the left side when Nikolai returned a powerful roller impossible to get.
Nahorniak stepped up to serve the last point that brought the audience to its feet to one of the most interesting matches in the history of the tournament.
Congratulations to the new champion.
by George A. Diaz – Handball Supervisor
The Bayside Lady Commodores finally got the monkey off their backs. Having lost the past two years in the finals, the Lady Commodores were looking for some redemption. Early in the game it looked like the result was going to be the same as in the past years.
Midwood called third singles Jessenia Garate who took upon the challenge and got the party started by disposing of Nicole Mleczkowski with a quick 21-5 giving Midwood a 1-0 lead. Bayside called the always reliable and 2013 Invitational tournament finalist Jessica Sim to even things up, but Jessenia Garate did not get the memo and gave Midwood a 2-0 lead with a comfortable 21-12 victory.
Trying to close things up, Midwood called on their first doubles Zoe Ma & Winnie Wu who had the daunting task of facing one of the best doubles teams in the city, the team of Jamele Chiao & Samantha Lim who put together their best game of the season giving Bayside hope and cutting the lead 2-1 with a quick 21-5 victory.
A lot of people wonder: how two young brothers can keep in top shape to play in so many handball tournaments throughout the year?
The old-fashioned, no nonsense pull-up, all but forgotten amid user-friendly fitness machines in gyms throughout the country, is the main reason.
“Pull-ups are not only good for you, they will make you look cool, as well. “Jurell said”
“In fact, doing them with correct technique(hanging from a bar with arms fully extended and pulling yourself straight up until your chin is over the bar) is so challenging that only the most accomplished gym-goers attempt them in public”
Tyree and Jurell have incorporated the pull-up bar to their daily exercise as the best upper-body exercise.
“Depending on the number you do and the amount of weight you’re pulling, the exercise can build significant muscle mass. “Tyree added.
When you’re strong enough for pull-ups, Tyree insists you can do them anywhere. All you need is to open a sturdy door, place a towel across the top and start your pull-ups.
A - Most points in a 4-wall handball game are scored using the 4-walls.
It’s hard to believe but during a 4-wall game most points are initiated and scored by hitting the ball against the ceiling (a fifth structure) not mentioned in the 4-wall tournament name.
B – Handball players outside New York believe that by relocating to New York and spending a great deal of time practicing 1-wall, they could win the 1-wall nationals.
The legendary Jimmy Jacobs relocated to NY and practiced a lot of 1-wall to play in the 1-wall nationals with no success.
C – The big ball is faster than the small ball.
As much as some players want to believe, the big ball doesn’t travel faster than the small ball.
Because players try to hit the big ball with all their mighty, they also expect the ball to rebound as hard as is hit. But the reality is that when the big ball hits the wall, it absorbs the hit due to the softness of the ball and rebounds with less speed.
Q – What is your role in the Boston Open?
A - I’m a member of the Boston Open Committee. I’ve been part of this great Committed for almost 25 years.
Q – Have you ever played in the Boston Open?
A - No, I’ve never play in it. I’m here to help, promote and organize handball with a great bunch of people.
Q – Does the Boston open will ever return to the “Boston Y”?
A – Yes. It may take a year or so before we return to the “Y” We were promised two brand new handball courts. We can’t wait to return.
Q - The old “Y” used to have 4 handball courts. How do you expect to run the Boston open with only two courts?
A – Its going to be hard but not impossible. The good thing is that we have a very good relationship with Wendy Zinn, the Boston Y Athletic Executive Director. It goes back many years. Wendy Zinn appreciates all handball players. She usually works with us to accommodate our tournament to the best possible schedule to finish it on time.
Q – How are you guys doing with the Youth Development Fund?
A – It’s the best thing we have. The Youth Development Fund was created after Joseph Pierre, a handball player, be quested some of his money to create a trust to promote handball in the area.
Mr. Pierre picked up handball very late in his life and fell in love with it ever since then. Here in the handball community and in the Boston Y, we always refer to him as the grandpa. We’re very grateful for what he did for handball and for what we’re still doing because of him.