Review by Kevin Baldeosingh
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Blake, Williams unbeaten after day one
T&T’s Simon Blake and Daneil Williams were one of six men’s pairings to enjoy a 2-0 record at the end of the Friday’s opening day of the third-leg of the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Tour, the Gatorade’s Guatemala Beach Volleyball Tournament at Campo Marte Park, Guatemala City, Guatemala.
Playing in a four-team Pool E round-robin series, Williams and Blake who were coming off a seventh place finish from 13 teams at the second-leg Boca Chica Presidente Beach Volleyball Tournament, in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic last month came from a set down to beat Guatemala-C Luis Torres and Mario Ramirez, 16-21, 21-11, 15-3 in 50 minutes.
The Toco-born duo, who were also 11th out of 16 men’s team in the opening tournament of the season, the fifth edition of the Cayman Islands Beach Volleyball Tournament at Seven Miles Beach, Grand Cayman then swept past Hondurans, Jesus Oliva Quintanilla and Manuel Serrano 21-17, 21-17 to book a quarterfinal spot against the winner of Pool D or Pool C, ahead of their final round-robin encounter with Dominican Republic’s Luis Castillo and Alex Medina yesterday as well.
Castillo and Medina won against Torress and Ramirez 21-19, 21-14 after losing their opener against Quintanilla and Serrano 10-21, 6-21, to leave both pairs level with 1-1 records.
The pairs of Slick Stafford/John Mayer (USA-A), Andy Blanco/Erick Garrido (Guatemala-A), Roberto Rodriguez/Erik Haddock (Puerto Rico-A), Lombardo Ontiveros/Juan Virgen of Mexico and Cubans Karell Pina and Sergio Gonzalez were also unbeaten at the end of the first day.
In Pool C, the other T&T pair to enter, Under-21 duo, Akim Bushe and Taran Deonath (T&T-B), were beaten in their two matches, first versus Ontiveros and Virgen, 10-21, 9-21 and then against Cayman Islanders’ Richard Campbell and Duncan Hamann, 12-21, 21-13, 8-15.
The Mexicans also swept past Guatemalan-B, Julio Recinos and Luis Garcia, 21-8, 21-11 and faced Campbell and Hamann in their final match yesterday with a win securing an automatic quarters spot and second, a place in the last-16.
T&T originally took three teams to Guatemala with Bushe pairing with Brandon Legall, and Deonath with Tevin Joseph, however T&T was only allowed two teams in the men’s tournament and the coaching staff opted to pair Bushe with Deonath.
T&T’s women duo, Elki Phillip and Apphia Glasgow, playing on the tour for the first time as partners went into their final round-robin Pool D match versus Hondurans, Gina Flores and Martha Euceda needing a win to advance to the round-of-16 after both teams were beaten in their other match in the three-team group by USA-2, Emily Day and Brittany Hochevar.
Phillip and Glasgow were beaten 8-21, 4-21 while Flores and Euceda, also suffered at the hands of the North Americans, 5-21, 4-21.
The T&T-B combination of LaTeisha Joseph and Kinesha Marshall were beaten in their two Pool F matches, 7-21, 8-21 by Dominican Republic’s Nairobi Agramonte and Diana Peguero, as well as Costa Ricans, Valeria Valenciano and Angie Montero, 18-21, 21-15, 15-1 to bow out of the tournament.
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