The final game at the 3-wall nationals was played by the best players in the U.S. Tyree Bastidas, a 1-wall national champion from New York faced Emmett Peixoto, a two-times 3-wall national champion from California.
Bastidas is sometimes labeled “The Beast” for his handball demolition job around the Northeast while Emmett Peixoto aka “the rock” is known for his great handball game that brings on the court, whether is a 1-, 3- or 4-wall game.
Mr. Peixoto also brings a vast experience and talented game with him. He is probably the player with the most stamina in the association.
The first game was very unpredictable as Mr. Peixoto took over Tyree’s job as a demolition man and showed Tyree how to win the first game.
To the surprise of Mr. Peixoto, the tables were turned around on him in the second and third game as Tyree started ferociously pounding the ball away from Mr. Peixoto to keep him running around behind the long line and eventually wear him down.
Mr. Peixoto lost his stamina, the game and the title he wanted to capture so badly one more time.
Congratulations to the best 3-wall players in America.
Photo by USHA
This is not the first time Bastidas reaches three different finals at the 3-wall nationals.
Last year Tyree played in three open events out of four at the Lucas Recreational Center in Maumee, Ohio, where he made use of his handball skills and versatility. This year was not different as he took the challenge again and walked away as the only player to be in three finals. He was also the only player to earn the most money overall.
Tyree Bastidas practically duplicated last year achievement:
He played in three open finals.
He played in two different handball versions (1- , and 3-wall).
He won the most money at Toledo.
Tyree Bastidas also improved last year achievement by the following:
He played the most 3-wall games in the men’s singles (11).
Although players from the west and from Canada have entered to play the 1-wall open event offered at the 3-wall nationals, some open players from 3- and 4-wall handball versions have refused to play to earn the prize-money offered for the past two years, even though on-line and on-site registration were offered.
In the past, players outside New York used to complain they couldn’t make it to the 1-wall nationals because New York was too far out east. But thanks to an anonymous donor, a 1-wall open event has been moved close to the mid-west to facilitate participation of these players.
Because of the $2,000.00 purse offered at the 1-wall event, most of the top New York players have traveled the distance to compete for the combined prize money offered in 1- and 3-wall.
But where are the other open players who claim they can play and win the 1-wall event ?
They are no where to be found.
Are these non New York players afraid of playing Tyree and the rest of the 1-wall players?
Our best guess is they just want to focus in winning the 3-wall events, even though Tyree and Sean have dominated the men’s open in the last three years.
Bastidas always seems to amaze us with his great runs as he keeps pushing himself to new heights to distance himself from the rest.
We all saw Tyree play phenomenal in the juniors in Toledo for the first time in 2004, and we all expected him to deliver the same outstanding performance in the open.
The following statement reflects only some of his achievements in the juniors and open divisions in Maumee, Ohio.
Tyree Bastidas’ 3-wall Milestones in Toledo:
1.- T. Bastidas is the youngest New Yorker to win the 3-wall open singles title at 22-years-old. He displaces former record holder, Lou Russo, who won the 3-wall title when he was 23-years-old.
2.- T. Bastidas has won all junior singles titles at Toledo (13, 15, 17, and 19-year-old)
3.- T. Bastidas has won the 17 and 19- and –under singles title in the same year at the same tournament(Ohio).
4.- T. Bastidas is the youngest New York player to have reached the finals of the USHA 3-wall open singles title at 19.
5.- T. Bastidas is the youngest New Yorker to reach the finals of the men’s open (singles and doubles) at 19 and 21 respectively.
It has become a tradition for New York handball players to go to Cedar Point Amusement Park before they arrive in Toledo for the 3-wall nationals.
Cedar Point, which is located within one hour on the way to Toledo by car, has been a popular stop for the young players willing to get on the great variety of roller coasters offered at this famous Park.
“I love roller coasters, I’ll never get tired of it” Tyree said.
"I like the Toledo Zoo" Amalie said.
“Wow! this is amazing. Can we stop here again on the way back to NY?” asked Mr. Lee.
It was such a long day of fun, the New Yorkers decided to hang around until the Park closed at 10pm.