Albany, NY, WPH Press, 11/28/16- One of the Northeast’s premiere 4-Wall events was held in the middle of November at Albany’s Court Club. Race 4 Eight pros Stephen Cooney, Ryan Bowler, and Billy O’Donnell and current 1-Wall national champion Tyree Bastidas headlined a strong open field that featured top players from the Northeast and Canada.
Alvaro Rebaza stunned defending champion and 26th ranked R48 pro Billy O’Donnell in the upper bracket quarterfinals, while fourth-seeded and 28th ranked R48 pro Ryan Bowler cruised past Virginia’s Lee Anderson to face Rebaza in the upper bracket semifinal. Bowler ended Rebaza’s Cinderella run in two games to advance to the final.
The bottom bracket featured former R48 Elite 8 Stephen Cooney making his first start in Albany. Despite an injured right shoulder, the “Coon Dogg” cruised past good friend and WPH supporter Arthur Sayed to face Tyree Bastidas in a highly anticipated matchup to determine the bottom bracket’s finalist. The matchup lived up to its advanced hype, with the superstars splitting the first two games and both serving twice at match point in the tiebreaker. Bastidas converted his second attempt on match point with a signature left-hand kill to advance to the final.
The finals presented an enticing contrast in styles between the blue collar and scrappy “Bowl Dog” and the flashy and explosive Bastidas. Bastidas took the first game with an impressive display of offense, but Bowler charged back in game two, leveling the match at one game apiece with inspired retrieving and shot making. Bastidas regained control of the match in the tiebreaker, building an early lead with his trademark two-handed firepower. “Tyree came out firing in the tiebreaker and led 7-0 before I could really get started,” stated Bowler. “I refocused and mounted a good comeback by running down some of his shots, but I made a couple of mistakes and gave him huge setups at the end that cost me the game.” Tyree put an exclamation mark on the match by hitting a flat kill with his left from the short line to claim the title.
Final: T. Bastidas def Bowler 21-15, 13-21, 11-7
Team Anderson defeated Team Bowler/Warren in the open doubles final.
Thank you to WPH reporter Ryan Bowler. Photos courtesy of WPH and Jared Vale.
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WPH Senior Writer