Photos by Bob Lee
ICHA representatives were on site to honor the best players of the year in a wide range of divisions.
For the first time in ICHA Handball History, the top honor in the men’s open division was shared by two players; Tyree and Jurell Bastidas. Both brothers were selected as the recipients of this prestigious award for their hard work and the numerous titles they captured together as a team or as individual players.
Jurell Bastidas accepted Tyree’s award in his absence. T. Bastidas was in California competing at the Simple Green U.S. Open of handball.
The following players were also honored on October 24:
Contributor and Fundraiser – Frank Drost
Championship Coaches – William O’Donnell, Vinnie Kuball & Kenneth Dyckman.
Men’s open – Jurell and Tyree Bastidas.
Women’s open – Danielle Daskalakis.
Boys – Robert Lee
Girls – Lily Fung.
Congratulations to all honor recipients and ICHA Officials for another night to remember.
Photos by Dan Gebben and others.
The Albany Open has seen an increase of women players in the past three years, and they don’t come just from New York City. They come from upstate New York and even Canada.
Among these players, we have: Shirley Chen, her sister Cheryl Chen, Alethia Mendez, Sandy Ng, Danielle Daskalakis, Carly Stickles, Gunsel Deshlivan, Jenine Wilson, Amanda Blanchard and others. But what brings these women to the Albany Open?
Top competition! The Albany Open has always been the epicenter of handball in the Northeast, and players find the Albany Open to be the ideal tournament to compete and socialize to plan and play in future events.
The Albany Open also offers women players the option to play in the men’s “C and B divisions” as seen in the photos above. It’s a tradition kept for many years.
The semifinal match among team A. Mendez/W. Homolka against team D. Daskalakis/S. Ng proved to be an exciting and worthy match all the way to the tiebreaker. Unfortunately, team Mendez/Homolka lost the match due to an unexpected injury during the third game.
Jenine Wilson from Canada also lost in another dramatic tiebreaker match that could have pushed her team to the semis.
Team Danielle Daskalakis and Sandy Ng took it to another level this year, when they played in the men’s B division and lost; 21-20-21-20. The scores clearly reflect how much the men’s divisions get pushed around during this great tournament.
Congratulations to all these great teams.
Photo by UK Wallball.
It’s too obvious to ignore that 1-wall is growing around the world. Whether is small or big ball Tyree has been there to promote it.
Tyree Bastidas is the only player on the planet to hold 1-wall world (singles) titles in the open (small ball) and junior divisions (big ball). He started as a world champion with the big ball in Canada and ended up as the 1-wall world champion (small ball) in the men’s open in Ireland.
Nowadays, there are more 1-wall associations in Europe promoting the 1-wall game. Among them we have: England, Belgium, Netherlands, Finland, France and Spain.
Last year, England came out with a good report on the future of 1-wall and the World handball championships held in Ireland. For those who missed on it, we have re posted for their convenience. Enjoy it!
Gareth Price had an excellent chance to progress; however his exhaustion was showing not just from his 4-wall exploits but also from his insistence on giving small-ball 1-wall a go (1-wall played with the small ball). This is the purist’s 1-wall game and was the norm until the more accessible big ball took over. It is not for the faint of heart. Not many players compete and so there is only one very high quality Pro grade. Gareth was drawn against Tyree Bastidas in the first round, a man of exceptional skill with both hands. Tyree would go on to become World Champion but he first had to get past Gareth Price playing his first ever game of small-ball. Gareth managed to get 6 points off him. Arguably Tyree may have been going easy, but we don’t think so.
Photos by Dan Gebben and others
The Canadian team of Ryan Bowler and Chris Simmons came to the tournament with a winning attitude that took them to the finals. It was also the first time a Canadian team has made it to the finals at the Albany Open.
Mr. Simmons comes a long way to play in this tournament, but he knows is worth it. He flew from Newfoundland to Montreal City because there are no flights from Newfoundland to Albany. He met with his Canadian handball friends and drove to Albany to compete in the tournament that no one wants to miss. His half a day journey by air and land paid off when he found himself and his partner in the final of the tournament, after leaving an ailing team Bastidas/Iglesias behind in the semis.
The final match was very competitive and even though the Canadian team lost, it didn’t go quietly into the night. Team Simmons/Bowler was taken to the tiebreaker by team O’Donnell/Schneider, who surprised the Canadians with a fast comeback to win in the tiebreaker.
Congratulations to both finalist teams.