The Race 4 Eight Powered by ESPN’s busiest day featured the best R48 and WPH Outdoor stars competing for coveted spots on finals Sunday.
The R48 V’s final regular season event featured the best players on the R48 tour vying for valuable ranking points in advance of Portland’s R48 V Player’s Championship in May.
Sean Lenning rebounded from a disappointing finish at the New York Athletic Club to defeat his Tucson rival David Fink in two games in the opening R48 quarterfinal of the day. Jonathan Iglesias advanced to his first R48 semifinal in 22 R48 starts, defeating his former college roommate Vic Perez in two games. Mando Ortiz continued his superb play in Salt Lake City, advancing to the semifinals for the third consecutive year with a two-game sweep against Daniel Cordova. Paul Brady overcame a slow start to win game one against Emmett Peixoto but fell behind 1-11 in game two. Peixoto appeared to be in cruise control and poised to force a deciding third game, but buoyed by several extensive time delays, an irate Brady scored 14 of the final 15 points of the match to advance.
Sean Lenning completely dominated first-time R48 semifinalist Jonathan Iglesias in the bottom bracket semifinal, needing just seven minutes to win game one and 23 minutes to win the match. Going into Sunday’s final, Lenning has outscored his opponents 90-25 and has looked completely dominant in defending his Salt Lake City title.
Paul Brady faced Mando Ortiz for the fourth time this season, with Brady winning two of the first three. Brady raced to an 8-0 lead in game one in just five minutes and appeared to be on the verge of a route. Ortiz scored five of the next six points to grab Brady’s attention, but his comeback came up short, as Brady clinched a one-game lead, 15-10. Ortiz raced to a 7-2 lead in game two before Brady caught fire, scoring 10 consecutive points to take charge. Brady held off a late Ortiz rally to defeat the R48 #3 for the third time this season.
R48 Sunday Final
Brady vs. Lenning
Luis Cordova survived a near collapse in the first round of the 9th place playoffs against Peter Funchion and advanced to the 9th place final with a victory against Marcos Chavez, while Luis Moreno dominated Killian Carroll and Billy O’Donnell to meet Cordova in the final. David Fink defeated Vic Perez and Emmett Peixoto defeated Daniel Cordova to setup a 5th place playoff showdown on Sunday morning.
R48 Playoff Sunday Finals
5th: Peixoto vs. Fink
9th: L. Cordova vs. Moreno
The WPH Outdoor stars headed indoors for the fourth stop of the WPH Outdoor Cup Series and the Race 2 Vegas. Top-seeded Juan Santos cruised to Sunday’s semifinals with a three-game victory against sparring partner Chava Cordova, while Alfredo Morales also survived a tiebreaker in defeating cross over star Shorty Ruiz. The bottom bracket saw SR48 #1 and R48 top 16 star Marcos Chavez defeat “Fab 4” member Sal Duenas in a tiebreaker. New York City’s Timbo Gonzalez defeated California’s Manuel Chavez in two games, as the #1 1-Wall superstar aims for consecutive victories on the WPH Outdoor Gold Cup Series.
WPH Outdoor Sunday Semifinals
Santos vs. Morales
Marcos Chavez vs. Gonzalez
Junior WPH R48 Clinic
Junior WPH proudly hosted a sensational junior clinic with the WPH sponsored Park City JR program with Park City’s enthusiastic high school group. The youngsters were treated to sidearm stroke instruction, target-hitting competitions and cross-training exercises with R48 Elite 8 pros David Fink and Daniel Cordova. Thank you to WPH sponsored Park City JR program head coach Ted McManus, the juniors and the WPH pros.
The live ESPN3 Salt Lake City Aces final broadcast (here) starts on Sunday morning, April 17th at noon est with the R48 playoffs and finals, as well as the WPH Outdoor finals. For full results and draws from the Salt Lake City Aces, click here
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The World Players of Handball is a non-profit foundation aiming to grow the game of handball through innovation and inspiring the next generation of players through junior clinics with certified WPH coaches, junior tournaments and the Race 4 Eight tour.