Photo by New York Handball Newsletter.
King of the Ring (article from WPH MB)
by Ben Brighton
On Saturday, June 21st the first day of summer, Albert Apuzzi threw his annual King of the Ring Singles tournament at the Seaside handball courts. The field was lacking many of the recognizable and prominent names but those in attendance put on a great performance.
In the first semifinal match Billy O’Donnell jumped out to a 12-03 lead against Jurell Bastidas. Jurell mounted a comeback catching Billy at 15 all before Bastidas’ serves and pinpoint control resulted in a 25-16 win. In the second semifinal match Cesar Sala held an 18-8 lead against Mike Schneider. Mike made a thrilling comeback getting to serve at 22-21 before Sala closed it out 25-22.
That set up the final most fans were hoping to see. For the first half of the match Cesar appeared overwhelmed and outmatched. The classic example of an aging star and his younger opponent. The power and speed that were always the trademark of Cesar’s game was now staring down at him in the person of Jurell.
Down 18-3 I thought I’d be writing Sala’s handball eulogy. But just like a great fighter taking a pounding in the ring, telling his manager and referee not to stop the fight, Cesar got off the canvas and fought back. He was able to close the gap to 21-23 before falling just short 25-21.
For his gallant comeback Cesar received as many kudos and congratulations in defeat as his honorable opponent Jurell did in victory.
It is a privilege to watch players such as them, who represent all that is good about our great sport.
With the USHA Nationals a little over a month away these events serve as tune-ups and help players assess their strengths and weaknesses. Thanks to all who participated. A special mention to Albert for his hard work.
Photos by Australian Handball Association (AHA)
The Australian Handball Association went out of its way to invite and bring some of the best players around the world to compete at the Australian Open on the third weekend of April. Australian handball officials had promised a large-scale excitement during this year and they delivered
Top players from the U.S have come to compete in Australia in the past ten years, including, E. Peixoto and D. Chapman, while other U.S. players have made the same trip in the 20th Century.
This year players from Ireland, Spain, Italy, England, the U.S., etc, competed for the highest honors in a variety of categories that were played non stop throughout the weekend.
Lately, there has been a great interest in competing at the Australian Open due to the fact that players get to play the purest 3-wall handball version in the world, where a player’s game actually rely on his or her skills and not on the ceiling.
The players didn’t disappoint as they left everything on the court and were happy to participate in one of the toughest 3-wall handball competition in the world.
The Australian Open now stands as a Pro stop that should be attended at least once during a player’s handball career.Congratulations to all the players who participated in this international 3-wall open competition
Most people in the handball community are aware that Tyree plays all three handball versions with the small ball. He has always played and won most of his tournaments by using the small ball.
Bastidas also plays with the big ball, but just for fun and when he has extra time to hit it. Because most of his handball training with the small ball takes up most of his time, he has limited time to practice with the big ball. But in spite of this problem, he has added big ball National and World junior titles to his big collection of small ball titles in the last ten years. A feast only a handful of players can boast about.
We all wish he can devote more time to the big ball game to find out his real potential in the big ball game, but his busy small ball handball schedule just won’t allow it.
Here we have a few comments from some of the most prominent persons in the big ball handball community (past and present):
Angel Marquez – one of the legendary big ball players in the big ball game, “if Tyree could only practice big ball, he would be the greatest big ball player”
John Wright (rookie) – the most decorated big ball player in the big ball world, “Tyree is really good at big ball, considering he is s small ball player”
Giovanni Vasquez – one of the current best big ball players in the Association, “Tyree never plays in any of our big ball tournaments. Last year, Tyree showed up at the King of the Courts tournament and almost beat Pee-Wee, who almost beat rookie in the semis”
Dwight Worley – President of the most famous and oldest big ball organization “SAHA”, came to watch the Fronton games in Brooklyn on April 27. He was watching Tyree play during the quarterfinals and was quoted saying: "Tyree is an A player with any ball he can hit or smack with his hands"
Once again, the men’s division drew a lot of players, where tournament director, Albert Apuzzi was forced to create qualifiers to get the best players in the final round. In the end only the best and strongest players made up the final list for the ultimate Fronton showdown in the U.S. where the best players will be invited to Europe's final Pro stop.
On one side of the draw, Jurell Bastidas reached the finals by beating a strong contingent of players that came to play to win at all cost.
On the other side of the draw, Tyree Bastidas was also on his way to the finals when he broke two fingers at the end of his second game. His opponent, Garnet, moved into Bastidas’ shot to prevent Bastidas from closing the second game, causing Bastidas to break his fingers and to force a tiebreaker.Bastidas could have forfeited the match but opted to play with one hand as he knew he could manhandle his opponent even with one hand. He was right, Bastidas dominated his opponent from the beginning to the end by moving him from side to side and forcing him to dive to retrieve the balls during some wild rallies the audience enjoyed. In the end, Garnet took advantage of some of Bastidas’ left hand weak returns to barely win the tiebreaker.
Photo by PSAL.
Deja Vu!! Bayside wins it again!!
by George Diaz - Handball Supervisor
Posted On 06/24/2014
In carbon copy rematch from last year, the Bayside Lady Commodores made their fourth trip to the finals looking for back to back gold vs. the Lady Hornets from Midwood.
Bayside called 3rd singles match to start things up. In a real showdown with back and forth rallies and seven lead changes in the early stages Nicole Mlezckowski took on Nancy Li. Trailing must of the game Nicole came back, tying the match at 19. After a couple of break serves from Nancy, Nicole completed the comeback by defeating her 21-19 giving Bayside a 1-0 lead.
Midwood called 2nd singles: in what it was the 2013-14 Invitational Championship rematch. Shkysi Cummings took an early lead and looked like she was going to run away with the match holding a 14-2 lead. After a few breaks, Jessenia Garate made a push and close within 16-12. Cummings got back up and finished the match scoring a 21-16 victory giving Bayside a 2-0 lead and a lot to celebrate………………