Most photos by Bill Fand
Tyree Bastidas, who specializes in small ball competition, crossed over to play with a different ball at the Washington Park in Brooklyn. It was one of the best Parks Tyree has ever played handball in the past ten years since Bastidas started playing in the Association in 2004 “I hope the USHA uses this Park next year. It’s clean, safe, close to transportation and is a walking distance to a great variety of restaurants in the area” Bastidas said
“It even has a giant tent for fans to watch the games and for players to rest after their games”
Bastidas couldn’t wait to play his first game where he tested his big ball handball skills against Tyrone Snell, a pure big ball player past his prime. For those not familiar with Mr. Snell, he was one of the best big ball players in New York, who usually finished among the semifinalists of the Big blue Citywide and King of the Courts tournaments in the past. His towering presence on the court, along with his powerful shots left a big mark in the big ball handball community in the last decade. Mr. Snell also devotes his time to promote the big ball game through his website; our own handball association “OOHA”.
The game was very competitive until the last five points where Mr. Snell tried his best to hold off Tyree, but eventually lost his stamina and consequently the game.
There is a lot of love out there in the four-wall handball community.
This year while attending the Boston Open, we noticed defending Irish champion, Killian Carroll, was holding hands with his girlfriend, a Boston resident herself. The following month, we traveled to Minneapolis to watch the best players of the four-wall game and caught up with the pair after Killian had just lost to Paul Brady in the semifinals. They seemed to be enjoying the tournament and posed for our cameras.
Emmett Peixoto from California also traveled to the Boston Open this year where he faced off Killian Carroll in the finals. We also saw him at the 4-wall nationals at the University of Minnesota, accompanied by his wife, Jessica, after Emmett had also lost to Paul Brady in the championship match.
In spite of their setbacks, both players carried on with their lives even after defeat.Congratulations to both couples and good luck in the future.
by George Diaz – Handball Supervisor
Posted On 06/13/2014
Benjamin Cardozo’s Eugene Lau ruled the city Saturday at the Individual Championship. Tired of being eliminated in early rounds, Eugene set the tone early. His poise and demeanor wasn’t going to be denied.
He made his way to the finals with a bye in the first round, defeated Alexander Sadeghovald (Midwood) 21-15, Nick Liaros (Midwood) 21-12, Aaron Khemcharoen (Bayside) 21-3, and Invitational finalist Sheikh Hossain (Hillcrest) 21-16. In the finals, Eugene faced a very familiar face in division rival Darren Chin (Francis Lewis). They have competed against each four times this season.
Chin’s quest to the finals wasn’t daunting at all. Calm and light as a feather, Darren simply amazes his opponents with a strong serve and difficult kills. He advanced with a bye, defeated Jumman Quader (Newcomers) 21-6, forfeit in the 3rd round, Juan Martinez (Transit Tech) 21-8 and Invitational third place winner Kody Yan (Economics & Finance) 21-18.
In the championship match, Eugene and Darren engaged in yet another intense battle between these two warriors. Lau took control of the match early taking a 5-0 lead and then 18-2 lead before Darren got one last chance. He was able to put a run but Eugene was just too determined to take home the gold scoring a 21-8 victory.Read more……………
Photos by Sean Delevan
This tournament has always been a fine tune-up for the 1-wall nationals and has always been considered one of the most difficult tournaments to capture during the outdoor season.
For the past four years, Tyree and Jurell Bastidas have managed to capture the singles, doubles or both titles in the same year. The last known player to have had a grip on this tournament was Satish Jagnandan, when he dominated the open singles division until 2010. That was the last time a player other than a Bastidas had won the Mayor’s Cup.
In 2011, Satish tried one more time to capture the Mayor’s Cup, but unfortunately had to run into Tyree in the men’s open singles final match. He probably played in one of the most spectacular finals handball fans have ever seen at the New York City handball courts. 2011 also marked the last time handball fans would watch Satish play at the Mayor’s Cup as Tyree unceremoniously dispatched him into retirement. Ever since then, Tyree and Jurell Bastidas have taken turns at winning this important tournament.
2011 Mayor’s Cup – Tyree Bastidas – men’s singles champion
2012 Mayor’s Cup – Tyree Bastidas – men’s singles champion
2013 Mayor’s Cup – Jurell Bastidas – men’s singles champion2014 Mayor’s Cup – Tyree Bastidas – men’s singles champion
On Saturday July 26, we noticed a big gathering at Edison Park and decided to approach it to find out what the big commotion was about. To our surprise, it was Gio Vasquez, a former King of the Court winner, who was venting his anger and frustration about Tyree’s better seeding than his own in the big ball open tournament.
We understand Gio’s frustration, but it’s an issue Tyree can’t help him with. Tyree is not part of SAHA Big Ball Handball seeding Committee and has no connections or influence over this Committee at all.
We are also aware that Gio is a good big ball player, but lately, he has not performed as he wished he had.
According to SAHA, the most prestigious and oldest big ball organization in New York, Gio Vazquez was taken out in the early rounds of the 2013 KOTC while Tyree advanced deep into the draw to end up among the best big ball players of the game.
This year, Gio Vazquez was taken out in the first round of the USHA 1-wall big ball nationals while Tyree advanced past the first round. So why would Gio think he deserves a better seeding than Tyree?
Handball players should keep in mind the KOTC handball seeding Committee combines the player’s performance of both: the USHA big ball 1-wall nationals and the KOTC big ball 1-wall open tournament.
Andres Calle, a big ball player who also performed well at last year KOTC, but not as well as Tyree, had recently beat Tyree at the 2014 USHA big ball 1-wall nationals and got a better seeding than Tyree at this year KOTC. Tyree understands this fact and is fully aware that Andres Calle deserves a better seeding.