Coney Island, NY, WPH/USHA Press, 9/14/19- New York’s ValeU Group and its generous donors were proud to present the 7th Annual Coney Island Player’s Championship Honoring Papa Schneider, Sr., featuring the largest and deepest 1-Wall Small Ball field of 2019. 1-Wall Small Ball superstars Timbo Gonzalez, Tyree and Jurell Bastidas, Mike Schneider, Carlin Rosa, Robert Sostre, Cesar Sala, Joe Kaplan, Tywan Cook, Andres Calle and many more were on hand to compete for one of the most prestigious prizes in 1-Wall Small Ball pro and 40+ handball.
“We are committed to promoting and supporting 1-Wall Small Ball handball,” stated Jared Vale, president of ValeU Group and one of 1-Wall’s greatest contributors. “Our aim is to revitalize this form of the game; for more people to play it and watch it! We were very excited to sponsor the 1-Wall Small Ball singles at the WPH’s RFC 11 R48 Pre Qualifier in July and the WPH’s R48 Pre Qualifier in Tucson in early September, as well as the upcoming 1-Wall Small Ball singles at the 3WallBall Outdoor World Championships at the end of September. Of course, we’re thrilled to present the 7th Annual Coney Island Player’s Championship Honoring Papa Schneider, Sr. featuring the best of the best in the sport.”
The 2019 Coney Island Player’s Championship Honoring Papa Schneider, Sr. produced colossal upsets, as four-time Player’s Champion and top seed Tyree Bastidas was stunned by Big Ball superstar Tywan Cook in the round of 16, 2017 3WB 1-Wall Small Ball champion and third seed Jurell Bastidas was also stunned in the round of 16 by Jonathan Camacho, and defending national 1-Wall Small Ball national champion Timbo Gonzalez was ousted by PeeWee Castro in the quarterfinals. “The small ball field is open for the taking right now,” stated 1-Wall veteran Cesar Sala.
Cook continued his stellar play following his upset of Tyree, knocking out 2018 Florida Cup 1-Wall Small Ball champion Carlin Rosa in the quarterfinals to face Geo Vasquez in the upper bracket semifinals. “Tywan’s success in Small Ball is not surprising, he is an excellent singles players,” stated Sala.
The bottom bracket featured the two most exciting matches of the tournament, as Victor LoPierre overcame Jonathan Camacho, 25-24, to meet Pee Wee Castro in the bottom bracket semifinals. PeeWee appeared to be heading for the 7 Train, trailing defending national champion Timbo Gonzalez 23-16 in the quarterfinal but found a way to turn the momentum in his favor and advance, 25-24. “Timbo had a few chances to win but PeeWee’s Small Ball experience was the difference,” stated Vale.
PeeWee coasted past LoPierre in the bottom bracket semifinal to face Geo in the final.
PeeWee was in control in the final against Geo, once again relying on his experience and shot making to take the title. “PeeWee was making great shots and great gets in the final, you could see his Small Ball experience was the difference,” stated Vale.
Tywan Cook def Carlin Rosa 25-21
Geo Vasquez def Saul Gonzalez 25-14
Victor LoPierre def Jonathan Camacho 25-24
PeeWee Castro def Timbo Gonzalez 25-24
Geo def Tywan 25-18
PeeWee def LoPierre 25-19
Final: PeeWee def Geo 25-15
The 40+ singles featured arguably four of the best players in the world. “There were certainly whispers that a few of the 40+ guys could have won the open title,” stated Vale.
William Polanco “zipped” his first two opponents en route to the upper bracket semifinals but ran into the rock-solid Kaplan, who defeated Polanco in another storied chapter in their 20-year rivalry.
Cesar Sala had little difficulty advancing to the final in the bottom bracket, defeating “Lefty” George Figueroa to face Kaplan in the final.
Kaplan proved to be too strong for Sala in the final, serving low bullets and fly-killing his way to the 40+ Player’s Championship.
Joe Kaplan def William Polanco 25-19
Cesar Sala def George Figueroa 25-12
Final: Kaplan def Sala 25-13
Next stop, Vegas and the ValeU Group 1-Wall Small Ball Singles at the 3WB Outdoor World Championships. Enter HERE
Pictures courtesy of Kirk Lewis
WPH Senior Writer