Top New Orleans Moments, by Dave Fink

Posted on Jan 26 2016 - 11:02am by DV

12525489_10153914386858799_2280126144781230968_oNew Orleans R48 Top Moments

  1. WPH Staff: Tens of thousands of people love watching more than 14 hours of live handball during each R48 event on ESPN but not many understand the thousands of hours worked by WPH Staffers and the WPH Production Team to engineer the spectacular productions. WPH Team members sleep less than four hours a night during broadcast weeks and spend the remaining 20 hours during broadcast weeks setting up, filming, announcing, interviewing, writing, breaking down, troubleshooting and so much more! Thank you!
  1. Mardi Gras Open and Tournament Director Bob Caluda: The R48 visited New Orleans for the first time and was treated to one of the best clubs and best events in history. Tournament director Bob Caluda ensured that all players were treated like kings
  1. Simultaneous Tiebreakers on Adjacent Glass Side Wall Show Courts: Friday’s round of 16 featured simultaneous matches on the two all glass show courts, meaning that fans were able to watch two matches at once. During the second group of round of 16 matches, Carroll and Peixoto and D. Cordova and Selestow were battling deep into electrifying tiebreakers, with Carroll/Peixoto tied at 13 and D. Cordova/Selestow tied at 12 concurrently. Where would you rather be!
  1. 886303_10153908761613799_3493730652660028681_oMardi Gras Junior WPH Collegiate Clinic: R48 Elite 8 member and WPH Coach Mando Ortiz joined WPH Master Instructor David Fink for an outstanding Junior WPH Collegiate Clinic for more than a dozen collegiate handball players from San Angelo State and the University of Texas. Coach Ortiz explained the fundamentals required to hit kill shots and even demonstrated numerous kills, hitting 90-mile-hour lasers with both hands. Clinic participants then had the chance to practice what they learned in target-hitting competitions for WPH prizes. Imagine hitting balls with Roger Federer or shooting three’s with Steph Curry-it happens on the R48 tour!
  1. Paul Brady: 2016 looks a lot like 2005-2015…another Paul Brady romp through the best players in the game. “The Gunner” didn’t drop a game in Nola and outside of a late first-game rally in the final by Killian Carroll, Brady was never in danger of dropping a game
  1. R48 Pros: Each month from October to May R48 pros leave their families, take time off from work, board planes and stay in hotels to compete on the greatest pro tour in the history of the sport. R48 pros play injured and sick and are without the benefit of world-class doctors and trainers to nurse them back to health. The R48 pros are accessible to fans, coach junior clinics and ALWAYS put on a spectacular show for the fans and the ESPN viewers. Thank you to all of the pros for their passion for the sport
  1. 12628451_10153914387428799_3017023111131373888_oKillian Carroll: The R48 Rookie continues to reek havoc on the R48’s best, advancing to the Nola final with comeback victories against the most difficult draw in R48 history. Carroll dropped the first game to R48 powerhouses Peixoto, Ortiz and Lenning before rallying to overcome the R48’s murderers row. Carroll demonstrated the ability to hang with handball’s greatest player in the final, extending rallies and executing shots with breathtaking athleticism and determination
  1. Ryan (RTB) Bowler: RTB became the first Canadian to earn a R48 ranking with his 17th place finish at the 2015 R48 V Tucson Memorial and advanced his ranking with an impressive qualifier victory against cross over star Billy O’Donnell. RTB didn’t stop there, nearly taking game two off Stephen Cooney in the round of 16 and advancing to the second round of the 9th Place Playoffs. Those who know Ryan could not be happier for one of the nicest guys in the sport. Congratulations RTB!
  1. Elite 8 Shakeup: The arrival of Killian Carroll has not only shaken up each draw in which he has entered during the R48 V season, but has also sent one member of the R48 Elite 8 back to the qualifiers. Stay tuned for the latest WPH Power Rankings to see which R48 star will be playing on Friday morning in Texas next month
  1. Memo Pallares and Billy O’Donnell Earn R48 Rankings: Buoyed by an impressive run in 2015 fall and winter Texas open tournaments, Memo Pallares maintained his momentum in New Orleans, defeating Dan Armijo to earn a R48 ranking for the first time. Billy O’Donnell also earned his first R48 ranking by defeating Dan Armijo for 17th place
  1. 12493606_10153908759683799_6680063259687461437_oLuis Cordova Notches Career-Best Victory: After pushing Sean Lenning in both games in the quarterfinals at the 2015 R48 V Stop #2 Tucson Memorial, Cordova shocked 9-time R48 champion and R48 #3 Luis Moreno in the opening round in New Orleans. Cordova put his name on the short list of players to defeat Moreno in R48 play and announced that he’ll be a force in the remaining R48 V events
  1. 9th Place Final: Despite losing in the round of 16, R48 #3 Luis Moreno and R48 #4 Emmett Peixoto played with the intensity of a R48 final in the 9th Place Playoffs, pushing one another to the limit in a 70-minute final. One of the best rivalries in the sport did not disappoint in the 9th Place Final, as each superstar played nearly flawlessly in a captivating thriller that saw Peixoto race to leads, only to be nearly caught each time by “The Natural.” Peixoto crossed the finish line first in a match that undoubtedly drained both players and left fans awestruck.

David Fink

WPH Senior Writer