The Memorial Wraps Up – All Irish Final

Posted on Nov 12 2017 - 9:59pm by david

 

Tucson, AZ, WPH Press, 11/12/17- The Race4Eight Professional Handball Tour Stop #2 was full of surprises this weekend, as a giant celebration of handball took place at the Tucson Racket & Fitness Club; honoring those from our handball community that have passed away this year and the years before that; to include WPH/ESPN Cameraman, Ben Manning and handball great, Dave Chapman.

“This tournament was by far the most emotional weekend we have all [collectively] gone through and for a whole array of reasons,” says WPH Executive Director, Dave Vincent.  “We mourned the loss of handball great Dave Chapman, swiped a few tears back as we said goodbye to our buddy Ben Manning, then reminisced about some of the memories that highlighted their lives and those that left us too early before them.  It was by far the most magical handball event I’ve been apart of and I certainly hope others feel the same way.”

The WPH admittedly had a lot of moving parts at this event, with many deserving recognition for their hard work.  Vincent continues, “We want to thank Charlie Wicker for his help at the tournament desk; Tom and Javi Flores, plus Yarely Fernandez, Scott Cleveland and others for filling in.  I was surprised and genuinely pleased to to see Martina McMahon at tournament control for 12 continuous hours on Friday and ten straight on Saturday.  Rarely do you ever witness a top player sitting at the desk checking players in, assigning courts and handing out scorecards. I mean, we’ve seen Killian Carroll step up on multiple accounts, but having others see his dedication to the game must be rubbing off.”

The WPH list of helpers didn’t end there, as Vincent pointed out the exceptional work by Tournament Director Scott Cleveland, Food and Hospitality Hit Man, Jim Verhaeghe, Registration guru, Tricia Fink, Event Coordinator, Jeff Healam (Tucson Rolling Shutters), Junior extraordinaire, Abraham Montijo, tournament Doctor, Ashley Moler, Control Desk workhorse Tom Flores, Merchandise Booth & Photography Lolita De Vincent, Video Super, Kris Gurrad, plus exceptional camera work and visual media from Linda Manning, Che Lowenstein and Kara Mack. “Thanks to David Fink for his Manning Cup coordination, journalism and broadcasting duties, junior clinics and pro mixed doubles leadership,” Vincent says.  “We are lucky to have such a great community of folks that have all come together to help further the game, like lead referee Braulio Ruiz, or the big time sponsors that made this one work, from Fred Banfield, Jeff Healam [Tucson Rolling Shutters] and Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient, Doug Clark, to Gurumeet Khalsa and the staff at the TRC.  Handball is in a good place when there are givers who care and we have a great group of caring folks.”

World Players of Handball thanks all participants, fans, supporters and donors for patronizing this event each and every year.

Sunday

Sunday morning featured the conclusion of the biggest 4-Wall event of the season, as the event’s top stars battled for Memorial titles in pro singles and doubles, as well as skill level and age division brackets.

R48 Finals

Robbie McCarthy and Killian Carroll met for the Memorial title, with McCarthy leading 3-2 in their career meetings. “Killian is the #1 player in the world and that’s who I want to play to see where my game is,” stated McCarthy. McCarthy entered the final with three career R48 titles in seven starts, while Carroll had won five R48 titles, including four in his last five starts.

McCarthy raced to a 5-0 lead in game one, but Carroll rallied to tie the score at six. The pair would be tied for the last time at eight, when Carroll completely took charge of the match. Carroll used his all-around game, complete with ace serves, back wall kills, great retrieves, and error-free handball to completely overwhelm McCarthy. Carroll scored 22 of the final 24 points of the match, showcasing why he is the #1 player in the world and winner of five of his last six R48 starts.

“Killian was playing incredible ball,” stated R48 star and Tucson Memorial ’17 head referee Anthony Selestow. “Killian’s speed, conditioning, ad ability to end rallies with both hands makes him virtually unbeatable right now.”

Final: Carroll def McCarthy 15-9, 15-1

R48 Finishes:

1st: Carroll

2nd: McCarthy

tied 3rd: Lenning/Ortiz

5th: D. Cordova

6th: Moreno

tie 7th: Funchion/L. Cordova

9th: Perez

10th: S. Ruiz

tie 11th:  Fink/Pesch

tie 13th: Peixoto/Cooney/Beall/Montijo

WR48 Finals

Catriona Casey was seeking her 13th WR48 title in 14 starts, while Martina McMahon was in search of her first WR48 title in her third final. Casey had never lost to McMahon in WR48 play, but had dropped two matches to her Irish rival on home soil in the past two years.

Catriona Casey trailed 10-14 and in danger of dropping the first game for just the third time in her WR48 history. A side out and six consecutive points to steal game one appeared to give Casey the momentum, as she raced to a 6-0 lead to start game two. “In the past I might have gone away there, but I’m working hard on my mental game to overcome deficits and getting down on myself,” stated McMahon after the match. McMahon started swinging with conviction, driving Casey into the back corners and executing kill shots on her offensive chances. McMahon scored 15 of the final 19 points of game two and continued to dominate in game three, hitting six ace serves and overpowering Casey en route to a 15-3 route. McMahon became just the third different player to win a WR48 title, joining Casey and Aisling Reilly.

“I really have no words right now,” stated an emotional and ecstatic McMahon after the match. “I’m sure there are tears of joy at home over this win and I’m just so happy to have won my first pro tour title.

Final: McMahon def Casey 14-16, 5-9, 15-3

WR48 Finishes:

1st: McMahon

2nd: Casey

3rd: Davis

4th:  Tuohey

5th: Peixoto De Melo

6th: Moler

WPH Outdoor Big Ball Pro

WPH Outdoor #1 Samzon Hernandez and WPH Outdoor #2 Timbo Gonzalez fittingly met for the WPH Outdoor Big Ball singles title at the Memorial in what has become the most intriguing rivalry on the WPH Outdoor tour. Gonzalez was aiming to add his first WPH Outdoor 4-Wall title to his resume of WPH Outdoor 1-Wall, 3-Wall, and X-Fest titles, while Hernandez was aiming for his 14th WPH Outdoor singles title.

Gonzalez imposed his ground and pound attack on WPH Outdoor #1 Samzon Hernandez early in game two, taking as many shots off the wall as possible and building a 10-6 lead. Hernandez called a timeout and changed his strategy, playing more ceiling shots and two-wall lobs. Hernandez took his first lead at 14-13 and despite a call that went against him, closed out the first game 15-14. Hernandez controlled the action in game two, never allowing Gonzalez to play his game and running away with his second WPH Outdoor 4-Wall singles title of the season.

“I won this one for Chapman,” declared Hernandez. “He was a legend in this game and I wanted to honor him by winning this one.”

Final: Hernandez def Gonzalez 15-14, 15-8

WPH Ambassador Doug Clark Honored with the WPH Lifetime Achievement Award

WPH board of directors members and ambassador Doug Clark was honored by the WPH executive committee for his outstanding contributions to the game of handball and the WPH. Doug is one of the WPH’s original board members and has been one of the WPH’s greatest supporters since the WPH reorganized and relocated to Tucson in 2009. “The WPH simply would not be where we are today without Doug’s generosity and willingness to give back to our initiatives,” stated WPH executive director David Vincent. “Doug has not only donated, but has also provided his professional expertise to help the WPH in so many different ways. Thank you Doug.”

“I’ve been involved in handball for 50 years and I’ve met just one person I didn’t like,” stated honoree Doug Clark. “This sports has been so great to me and I’m so proud of what the WPH has done and will do for the sport in the future.”

Thank you!

Thank you to the WPH staff and all of the volunteers, players, and donors that made the 2017 Memorial one of the best events of the year.

“This is the best tournament I’ve ever attended for several reasons,” stated WPH donor and 70-and-over superstar Jerry Zimmerman. “This tournament did so much to enhance this sport because of all of the players that traveled from around the world to play and the memorial tributes that honored those we’ve lost.”

To follow the draws and results from the 2017 Tucson Memorial, go here

To watch the action live on ESPN3 starting on Saturday morning, go here

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer


Tucson, AZ, WPH Press, 11/11/17-

Saturday- The busiest day of the 2017 Tucson Memorial kicked off early on Saturday morning, with the Tucson Racquet Club’s 10 handball courts filled with pro, junior, sill level, and age group players from 8 am until the late evening.

R48 Quarterfinals and Semifinals

Robbie McCarthy kicked off the R48 action by dismantling country Peter Funchion, ending Funchion’s Cinderella Run and booking his first appearance in a R48 semifinal in more than a year.

Sean Lenning overcame his nemesis Luis Moreno in the second semifinal, serving nine aces in the first game and winning 75% of his service points and adding six more aces in the second game to continue his quest to defend his Memorial title.

Mando Ortiz and Luis Cordova renewed their rivalry that has gone back and forth for six years, with the pair staging a classic for a spot in the bottom bracket semifinal. Cordova took a 14-13 lead in game one and appeared to have won it on an avoidable, but despite shaking hands with Ortiz, the referee called for a hinder. Ortiz would take a 16-15 lead and serve for the game eight times before closing it out, 18-16. Ortiz led 14-9 in game two but would need 25 more minutes and nine service innings to close out Cordova and advance to his second Memorial semifinal in three years.

Daniel Cordova continued to play inspired handball on the R48 7, snatching the first game from Killian Carroll with sensational two-handed offense and hops. “I’ve never seen Daniel play this well,” stated WPH ESPN play-by-play analyst Dave Vincent. “Danos was hitting two-inch high re kills with both hands and has really reached another level in his game.” Carroll proved why he is the #1 player in the world, forcing a third game and dominating the action on the decider to continue his R48 winning streak.

Quarterfinals

McCarthy def Funchion 15-3, 15-6

Lenning def Moreno 15-8, 15-8

Ortiz def L. Cordova 18-16, 15-13

Carroll def D. Cordova 9-15, 15-9, 15-3

Semifinals

Sean Lenning played some of the best offensive handball in recent memory in his semifinal clash with Robbie McCarthy, serving aces and killing the ball from everywhere to reach match point at 15-3, 14-1. Lenning had scored 29 of 32 points to reach match point and needed just one point to advance to the final. Lenning was clearly playing on fatigued legs, and McCarthy took advantage. “I noticed Sean breathing heavy and I’m never going to give up so I just started chipping away,” stated McCarthy. Lenning served at 14-9 and came close to hitting an ace down the right. With the ball stuck to the side wall, McCarthy was able to scrape the ball back into play and win the rally, fending off three Lenning kill shot attempts en route to the side out. McCarthy’s comeback continued, as he made the greatest comeback in R48 history to force a third game.

McCarthy dominated the third game, completing the most improbable comeback in recent handball history.

Killian Carroll found himself plagued with handball errors and trailing Mando Ortiz 6-10 in game one. As become his custom, Carroll righted the ship and scored the final nine points of the first game by playing flawlessly. Carroll never trailed in game two and closed out the match by scoring the final five points of the match

Semifinals

McCarthy def Lenning 3-15, 16-14, 15-5

Carroll def Ortiz 15-10, 15-9

Final: Carroll vs. Ortiz (12:15 pm mst on ESPN3)

WR48 Quarterfinals and Semifinals

Catriona Casey dropped just seven points in her two matches on Saturday, ousting 2004 national finalist Courtney Peixoto De Melo in the quarterfinals and WR48 #4 Aimee Tuohey in the semifinals.

Martina McMahon dropped just four points on Saturday, trouncing Hilary Rushe and Tracy Davis to setup a clash with Casey on Sunday.

Semifinals

Casey def Tuohey 15-2, 15-0

McMahon def Davis 15-0, 15-2

Final: Casey vs. McMahon (10:45 am mst on ESPN3)

WPH Outdoor Big Ball Pro

Samzon Hernandez overcame one of his greatest rivals in the WPH Outdoor pro singles, dropping game one against Alfredo Morales before rallying to wins the next two games to end El Hombre’s quest for his second WPH Outdoor 4-Wall singles title of the year.

Timbo Gonzalez continued to impress in the bottom bracket, defeating his doubles partner Shorty Ruiz in two entertaining games. “Those were some great games,” stated New York’s Gonzalez. “We had some crazy rallies. I’m just feeling better and more comfortable with each match.”

Semifinals

Hernandez def Morales 8-15, 15-9, 15-6

Gonzalez def S. Ruiz 15-7, 15-12

Final: Hernandez vs. Gonzalez (10 mst am on ESPN3)

Timbo Gonzalez will aim for the Memorial Big Ball slam on Sunday, as he teams with Shorty Ruiz against Alfredo Morales and Esteban Erazo at 11:30 am mst.

JR WPH Clinic and Singles

JR WPH proudly hosted a clinic and skills competition for two-dozen youngsters from Arizona, New Mexico, California, and Mexico between the ages of 8-18. The youngsters aimed for targets on kill shots and serves, while several of the lucky juniors were interviewed by ESPN’s Kara Mack. Following the clinic, the juniors played in age bracket singles, with each of the participants demonstrating exceptional sportsmanship and skills. “All of the donations we receive at the Memorial and throughout the year go towards hosting junior clinics and competitions throughout each year,” stated WPH Donor Development Director David Fink. “We are very proud to have hosted more than 1,000 junior handball clinics thus far in 2017. Thank you to all of our generous donors for helping us to inspire the next generation of players.”

Pro Mixed Doubles

Vic Perez teamed with Tracy Davis and met Emmett and Courtney Peixoto De Melo in the exciting mixed doubles final. Perez demonstrated his sensational doubles skills, while Tracy Davis played rock solid right side doubles, picking up kills, making very few errors, and making several spectacular re kills. Team Perez/Davis took an 11-5 lead and stretched the lead in the second half of the one game to 21 final to take the title.

Final: Team Perez/Davis def Team Peixoto 21-8

Memorial Service, BBQ, and Party

Memorial tournament director Scott Cleveland and ESPN’s Kara Mack led an emotional and touching memorial service before the final R48 semifinal, sharing stories and fond memories of Dave Chapman and Ben Manning, as well as those the handball community has lost in past years. Thank you to Scott and Kara for highlighting and celebrating the lives of Dave and Ben and all of our friends that are sadly no longer with us.

Following the R48 semifinals, players and their families enjoyed a poolside BBQ and great music. Thank you to Jeff Healam and Tucson Rolling Shutters for organizing the party and band!

To see the Memorial ’17 broadcast schedule, go here

To follow the draws and results from the 2017 Tucson Memorial, go here

To watch the action live on ESPN3 starting on Saturday morning, go here

Watch LIVE handball on ESPN3 & WatchESPN App Saturday & Sunday, November 11th & 12th, 2017

TUCSON MEMORIAL

ESPN3 & WATCHESPN SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12TH

BROADCAST SCHEDULE

All Times Mountain

10a-1:30p on ESPN3 & WatchESPN App

 

Track results of this event, HERE:  https://goo.gl/im5LJU

Sunday, November 12th

10:00am – Men’s Big Ball 4 Wall Singles Final – Samzon Hernandez (CA) vs Timothy Gonzalez (NY)

10:45am – Women’s Small Ball 4 Wall Singles Final – Catriona Casey (IRE) vs Martina McMahon (IRE)

11:30am – Men’s Big Ball 4 Wall Doubles Final – Alfredo Morales / Esteban Erazo (CA / CA) vs Samzon Hernandez / Shorty Ruiz (CA / AZ)

12:15pm – Men’s Small Ball 4 Wall Singles Final – Killian Carroll (IRE) vs Robbie McCarthy (IRE)

**Out of the coverage area?  WPH All Access Pass Holders have special viewing privileges. Go HERE>

Want more?  info@wphlive.tv

Brackets published on Thursday, November 9th.  Follow them, HERE>

How to view?  Go to ESPN & WatchESPN App here:  www.watchespn.com, log in by inserting your cable network affiliation credentials and look for handball on ESPN3.

 


Tucson, AZ, WPH Press, 11/10/17-

Friday

The biggest 4-Wall event of 2017 commenced on Friday morning in beautiful Tucson, AZ, with 45 hungry qualifier hopefuls battling for eight spots in Friday afternoon’s R48 Memorial main draw. The Race 4 Eight Men’s Singles, Women’s Race 4 Eight singles, WPH Outdoor Big Ball pro brackets, skill level, and age division brackets, as well as a special referee’s clinic hosted by Tom Sove also kicked off on an action-packed Friday at the Tucson Racquet Club.

R48 Qualifier

The 2017 Memorial Qualifier featured the largest qualifier bracket in R48 history and produced the most two-point wins in R48 qualifier history.

Top-seeded qualifier Marcos Chavez was trounced by Ireland’s Peter Funchion in the biggest upset of the qualifier, while Chavez’s LAAC teammate Vic Perez cruised past Juarez’s Markos Renteria. Third-seeded qualifier Jonathan Iglesias fell victim to the upset bug, as “Churches” was ousted by Oregon’s Dalton Beall. “Jonathan beat me 25-23 in Salt Lake City earlier this year and I was really happy to draw him and get my revenge,” stated Beall.

Fourth-seeded qualifier and three-time R48 champion Robbie McCarthy had little trouble withy Eastern PA’s Dave Bardwell.

Tucson’s Abraham Montijo entered the qualifier seeded fifth and was tied at 24 with New York’s Mike Schneider. Four consecutive side outs at 24-all ended with two consecutive points for Montijo, who advanced to the round of 16 for the second consecutive stop this season.

Sixth-seeded qualifier Shorty Ruiz trailed Ireland’s Gabhain McCystall 23-19 before catching fire and scoring the final six points of the match. “The way Shorty turned it up there, there was nothing anyone could have done,” stated R48 fan and WPH Outdoor #2 Timbo Gonzalez.

NYAC Manning Cup captain Stephen Cooney had little trouble against the Olympic Club’s Loren Collado.

The battle of the Ryans, Pesch and Bowler, produced the longest match of the morning, as the Minnesotan and the Canadian battled for more than an hour. With the momentum never resting with either Ryan, Pesch managed to cross the line first, breaking a 23-all tie to win 25-23.

Qualifier Finals

P. Funchion def M. Chavez 25-9

Perez def Renteria 25-12

Beall def Iglesias 25-21

McCarthy def D. Bardwell 25-7

Montijo def Schneider 26-24

Ruiz def McCrystall 25-23

Cooney def Collado 25-10

Pesch def Bowler 25-23

R48 Round of 16

Top-seeded Killian Carroll survived 3WallBall Outdoor World Champion Shorty Ruiz, while second-seeded David Fink fell to Robbie McCarthy. Luis Moreno outlasted Vic Perez in a nearly two-hour match, overcoming the LAAC Manning Cup MVP in a tiebreaker.

Mando Ortiz won game one but fell behind 2-8 in game two before rattling off 11 straight points to take a 13-8 lead. Cooney eventually tied the score at 14, but several costly errors in overtime sunk the Coon Dogg.

Luis Cordova was dominant against Ryan Pesch, while Sean Lenning needed just 28 minutes to defeat Dalton Beall.

Daniel Cordova and Abraham Montijo renewed their Southwest rivalry in the upper bracket round of 16 match, with Montijo taking game one and Cordova taking game two to force a tiebreaker. With Cordova leading 9-7, Cordova added slightly more power and hop to his rally shots, forcing Montijo errors and giving Danos offensive opportunities. Cordova advanced to the round of eight for the second consecutive event.

Peter Funchion continued to dominate in the main draw, keeping Emmett Peixoto off-balance and ousting the number eight seed in two games. “Funchion really plays a great game,” stated Gonzalez. “He shoots the ball flat with either hand when he has openings and he goes to the ceiling or wraps the ball around when he is not on offense.”

Round of 16 Finals

Carroll def Ruiz 15-3, 15-4

McCarthy def Fink 15-3, 15-10

Moreno def Perez 15-10, 12-15, 15-1

Ortiz def Cooney 15-9, 16-14

L. Cordova def Pesch 15-4, 15-5

Lenning def Beall 15-7, 15-1

D. Cordova def Montijo 10-15, 15-4, 15-9

Funchion def Peixoto 15-4, 15-7

Round of 8 Matchups (Saturday on ESPN3: all times mst) Watch ESPN info, here>

Carroll vs. D. Cordova 1 pm

Ortiz vs. L. Cordova noon

Moreno vs. Lenning 11 am

McCarthy vs. Funchion 10 am

WR48

The Women’s Race 4 Eight kicked off its season on Friday, with the seven of the top 10 WR48 stars in action.

12-time WR48 champion Catriona Casey routed past Jessica Bohlken, while second-seeded Martina McMahon was equally dominant against the Fred Lewis Foundation’s Kena Byrd-Jackson. Third-seeded Tracy Davis allowed just one point against Denver-transplant Aimee Fadden and fourth-seeded Aimee Tuohey ousted 1990’s collegiate handball All-American Beth Blackstone.

Fifth-seeded Suz Koehler was the first upset victim in the WR48 draw, falling the women’s handball legend Jenny Schmitt in two games. “Jenny played unbelievably well,” stated the always enthusiastic Koehler. “She was getting to everything and I don’t think she missed a shot.”

Sixth-seeded and Tucson favorite Dr. Ashley Moler defeated Kristina Langhorst in two competitive games, Hilary Rushe received a forfeit, and eighth-seeded and 2017 Plummer Women’s pro finalist Courtney Peixoto De Melo needed three games to defeat Albuquerque’s Jennifer Saunders.

Round of 16 Finals

Casey def Bohlken 15-0, 15-0

McMahon def Byrd-Jackson 15-1, 15-0

Davis def Fadden 15-0, 15-1

Tuohey def Blackstone 15-3, 15-3

Schmitt def Koehler 15-12, 15-8

Moler def Langhorst 15-5, 15-8

Rushe advances via forfeit

Peixoto De Melo def Saunders 15-6, 10-15, 15-1

Round of 8 Matchups (Saturday)

Casey vs. Peixoto De Melo

Tuohey vs. Schmitt

Davis vs. Dr. Moler

McMahon vs. Rushe

WPH Outdoor Big Ball Singles

WPH Outdoor stars played well past midnight to cut the star-studded field of 42 to eight. The Big Ball top three seeds advanced to the round of eight, as Samzon Hernandez, Timbo Gonzalez, and Shorty Ruiz dropped just one game combined. Hampered by a knee injury, fourth-seeded Chava Cordova was upset in the round of 32, while current Aces champion Alfredo Morales cruised to the final eight.

WPH Ironman Sal Duenas dropped game one to California’s Antonio Chavez but rallied to force a tiebreaker and overcame two questionable calls when trailing 12-13 to avoid the upset.

WPH cross over stars Luis and Daniel Cordova became the first players to advance to the round of eight in both the R48 and WPH Outdoor draw in the same event, adding their names to the discussion of best all-around players in the sport.

Current WPH Outdoor IceMan champion Manny Suarez rounded out the quarterfinals.

Round of 8 Matchups (Saturday)

Hernandez vs. L. Cordova

Morales vs. D. Cordova

Ruiz vs. Duenas

Suarez vs. Gonzalez

Referee’s Clinic

Huge thanks to USHA Rules Director Tom Sove for hosting two spirited referee’s clinics for the pro players.

To follow the draws and results from the 2017 Tucson Memorial, go here

To watch the action live on ESPN3 starting on Saturday morning, go here

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer

 


 

 

#TeamSoCal

Tucson, AZ, WPH Press, 11/9/17-

Thursday

The Tucson Memorial kicked off on Thursday with the Manning Cup and the Tucson Memorial Pre-Qualifier. The 2017 Memorial featured one of the largest draws of the year in handball, with more than 300 players from across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Ireland, including the top 12 men’s R48 pros, the top five WR48 pros, and more than 50 players under the age of 20.

#TeamNorCal

Manning Cup

The Manning Cup pitted the best handball cities/clubs from the U.S., Mexico, Canada, and Ireland in a special Ryder Cup style team format honoring WPH film crew superstar Ben Manning. Team Tucson, Team LAAC, Team NYAC, Team Canada, Team Juarez, Team SoCal, and Team NorCal were all vying for the first Manning Cup and the perpetual Manning Cup trophy, which like the Stanley Cup, is kept for 12 months by the winning team. Each Manning Cup match included two singles matches and one doubles match, with the team securing two victories moving on to the next round. A team must have a minimum of three players (no maximum) and three players must play in each match. Team members do not need to play in each match.

Team Tucson cruised to the final with a sweep against Team Juarez, while Team LAAC and Team NYAC split singles matches (NYAC-McCarthy def LAAC-Ortiz 17-3, LAAC Perez def NYAC Cooney 17-6) to setup a doubles match for a spot in the final. The LAAC’s Marcos Chavez and Mando Ortiz overcame the NYAC’s feisty team of Stephen Cooney and Jonathan Iglesias to advance to the final, 17-11.

First Annual Manning Cup Participants

Team Tucson took a one-point lead in the final when Team Tucson’s David Fink defeated Team LAAC’s Mando Ortiz. Team Tucson stood just four points from the title at 13-13 in the doubles, as Team Tucson (Lenning/Montijo) battled Team LAAC (Chavez/Perez). Chavez and Perez kept the LAAC alive by winning four of the next five points to force a third match.

The third match pitted Team LAAC’s Vic Perez against Team Tucson’s Shorty Ruiz. Ruiz and Perez played close for the first 10 points of the match, with both players battling to a 5-all tie. Perez took over from there, taking a 9-6 lead at halftime and never allowing Ruiz to serve in the second half, clinching the cup for Team LAAC.

2017 Manning Cup Champs – Marcos Chavez (L) & Mando Ortiz (R) Hoisting-Up Vic Perez #TeamLAAC

Final:

Fink (Tucson) def Ortiz (LAAC) 17-3

Chavez/Perez  (LAAC) def Lenning/Montijo (Tucson) 17-14

Perez (LAAC) def Ruiz (Tucson) 17-6

Team LAAC def Team Tucson 2-1

“We want to thank all of the players from all six teams for putting on a great show and traveling to Tucson early to compete in the first Manning Cup,” stated Manning Cup director David Fink. “We are proud to identify the best handball city in the country and honor our WPH film crew superstar Ben Manning. Congratulations to Team LAAC for a great performance.”

R48 Pre Qualifier

Dylann Hernandez

Due to the incredible demand of players vying to qualify for the R48 Memorial, a special Thursday night Pre Qualifier was created for two spots in Friday morning’s Main Qualifier. The 14 Pre Qualifier entrants were aiming to join the 43 players already entered in Friday’s Main Qualifier.

Phoenix’s David Munoz and L.A.’s Dylann Hernandez emerged through a deep Thursday night Pre Qualifier to join 44 players in Friday morning’s Tucson Memorial main qualifier.

To follow the draws and results from the 2017 Tucson Memorial, go here

To watch the action live on ESPN3 starting on Saturday morning, go here

ESPN and Handball’s Broadcast Schedule, here

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer