King Of The Beach – A-1 Official Handball Tournament crowns its first “king” – Beach battle of brothers Bastidas breeds new champion with a new ball.
Above from left: J. Bastidas, Y. Castro, T. Bastidas and J. Kaplan.
Photos by Albert Apuzzi
Handball tournaments using the A-1 balls are popping up all over the city, but familiar faces at the end of the day haven't changed.
HOF Albert Apuzzi managed to run a new 1-wall tournament with the new popular A-1 handballs after the 1-wall nationals. It would seem that New York players haven’t had enough of the game and keep playing as long as there are tournaments out there.
Mr. Apuzzi believes the USHA should be organizing more tournaments gearing up to the 1-wall nationals to promote the game and to keep players interested in the 1-wall game. “We could have more players joining the USHA if the USHA organizes more tournaments in the Northeast” Albert said.
“Having new tournaments sanctioned by the USHA is the best way to promote our game, meaning, more players to buy more balls”
Tyree and his brother Jurell faced each other to decide who would be the first King of the Beach.Tyree won the battle of the brothers and advanced to the final game to defeat Joe Kaplan, who had previously defeated Pee-Wee Castro at the other semifinal.
You never know who you are going to play in the first round. Not at the 3-wall nationals, where players from all over the country and abroad show up for the biggest USHA outdoor tournament of the year.
As in the past, Mr. Sala made his long journey to Toledo hoping to win his first round match. Many fans were not aware that Mr. Sala hasn’t been able to win his first match (singles) for the past ten years or more. Yes, Cesar has taken players to the tiebreakers but has never made it past the first round.
This year was a different story as Cesar had to play Ontario 3-wall champion Ryan Bowler. Mr. Sala defeated him in two straight games, thus breaking through his first round of open competition.
Mr. Sala was also among a handful of players who registered to play in four open events (1-, and 3-wall), reaching the championship match of the 1-wall event.
Photos by Bill Fand
September marks Hispanic Heritage Month as we recognize Latino achievements, let’s not forget about sport achievements in our handball community.
During the month of September, Mexicans also celebrate the rich history of their country and its sovereignty from Spain with music, dance and tradition during their 19th Annual Mexican Independence Day parade.
The parade not only celebrates Mexico’s independence from Spanish’s rule, but it also acts as a unifying event for Mexicans in the Tri-State area.
It’s here in Mexico where the handball game was first played and developed many centuries ago.
Congratulations to the following Hispanic descendant players who won and cornered the USHA 1-wall nationals Open divisions in 2010.
Tyree Bastidas – 1-wall singles champion
William Polanco – 1-wall singles runner-up
Yuber Castro and William Polanco – 1-wall doubles champions
Geovani Vazquez and Joshua Garcia – 1-wall doubles runner-ups.
In the women’s doubles division, competition got tougher and only the most experienced teams were able to make it to the next round. Out of town teams found it difficult to advance.
This year’s winners, former national champions T. Davis and Theresa Healey came back to wrestle the title from defending champions Sandy Ng and Danielle Daskalakis.
It was a match neither team wanted to lose as both teams were locked in a big rivalry not seen in many years at the nationals.
At the end of the day, it was team Davis/Healey that walked out with a big smile.
Congratulations to all the ladies.
Joe Durso (far left), William Polanco, Tyree Bastidas and Yuber Castro hitting the ball. Photo by Bill Fand
Many fans always wonder why Joe Durso rather keeps playing in the open to lose than playing in the 50+ division and win? The last time handball fans saw Mr. Durso at a championship match was in 2009, when he begged Tyree to be his partner. It was also the last time Tyree Bastidas shared the spotlight with the veteran player.
Mr. Durso, a USHA record holder, who is past his prime, has refused to play in any other division other than the open due to pride and his big Ego that has hurt him more than anything else. And yes, he can play in the 50+ age-group, but there is no guarantee he can win that division either.
Among some of the best players in the 50+ division are D. Vera and M. Angley, who have already won the 1-wall division and happens to be the two best 4-wall players of their age-group in the Northeast.
For now, Mr. Durso has elected to avoid his age-group to play in the open and get beaten by players whom he would have routinely defeated in his prime.
But how much more beatings will Mr. Durso take before he moves on and play in the 50+ division or quit handball in a honorable way?