Above: Bastidas battles Castro at the Coney Island handball courts. Photo by Scott Schilder
Tyree Bastidas, who kept the No 1 seeded at the USHA National Ranking System after losing the championship match to Castro, practically will keep his No. 1-seeded spot at the conclusion of the HES 1-wall pro stop.
Current national champion, Castro, had an opportunity to displace Bastidas from the No. 1 seeded position, had he reached the finals and beat Bastidas, but he succumbed to former national champion J. Kaplan during the semifinals game.
Bastidas is the only junior player to capture the USHA national title and the No 1-seeded spot at the same time. He has been ranked as the No. 1 seeded player two years in a row since he won the national title in 2010. He has kept the No. 1 seeded spot throughout 2011 and most likely will be playing at the 2012 USHA 1-wall championships also as the No. 1 seeded.
There are no teenagers in any handball version who have been as consistent as Bastidas when they won their first USHA national title and their No. 1 seeded spot at the same time.
Above: Tyree Bastidas gets ready to smash the ball on November 13. Photo by Scott Schilder
By Ben Brettner
BROOKLYN -- The spring like temperature so close to Thanksgiving allowed fans at Coney Island to enjoy one last outdoor tournament before winter arrives.
The weekend event produced top match-ups but the final was suspended due to darkness. The final will be played Dec. 4th.
CLICK HERE to see the Final Draw and results for the Sunday Nov. 13 event.
Click the above event names for specific information or CLICK HERE to visit the official Facebook page!
Click Read MORE to see Ben Brettner's full article.
In the quarterfinals, 2010 National Champion & 2011 Runner-up Tyree Bastidas beat Sweeney Lee 21-7. His semifinal opponent was Cesar Sala.
Cesar defeated John Loubriel 21-13 and Paul Angel 21-19. Sala had to be thinking of revenge and redemption after his bitter 21-20, 21-20 defeat to Bastidas in this year’s Nationals. Despite giving up more then a decade in age, Cesar was up to the task.
Four amazing hands, four fleet feet, two iron wills and the result a thrilling 21-19 win for Tyree. The youngster started strong and quickly amassed a 7-0 lead. Cesar eventually worked his way back into a 19-16 lead and looked as if he would be in the final. Somehow he didn’t score another point and lost 21-19.
Joe Kaplan defeated Saul “Dizzle” Gonzalez 21-14 in the quarters and current National Champion Yuber “PeeWee” Castro 21-8 in the semis. PeeWee had just managed to squeak by Alvaro Rebaza to earn a 21-19 victory and spot in the semis.
That set the stage for Tyree, the future and poster boy of handball versus the quiet an unassuming family man Kaplan. Unfortunately, the calendar intervened, with dwindling daylight and falling temperatures the finalists requested that they be allowed to postpone the match.
The match will be played indoors at the H.E.S. on Dec 4th.
A special mention to newly inducted Hall of Famer Albert Apuzzi who promoted the event. The respect he has in the handball community plus his calmness diffuses any arguments and has any event he lends his name to running smoothly.
Lastly, congratulations to Joe “Smoking Joe” Durso who will officially be inducted into the USHA Handball Hall of Fame on February 12th 2012.
Special thanks to Paul Angel & William Polanco who refereed many matches as well as sponsors Adam Gittlitz and Carl Obert.
Lastly, thanks to “BBQ Pete” who manned the grill for the hungry & thirsty players.
NOTE: IN THE 24 PLAYER MENS FIELD THERE WERE ONLY 6 REPORTED UNSUCCESSFUL APPEALS & A HANDFUL OF HINDERS WHICH WERE QUESTIONED.
Bastidas' finger as reported on his facebook.
Tyree Bastidas started the year on the wrong foot when he accidentally broke it at a 4-wall court. He stayed away from the handball courts throughout the spring and decided to play in Apuzzi’s organized 1-wall handball events with the hope of being ready and able to play during the summer at the Mayor’s Cup, which he did. While Bastidas was practicing for the nationals in August, he got injured when he cut his hand with a piece of glass when he landed on both hands. He still entered the nationals in the last minute. During the fall, while riding his bicycle with his friends in Brooklyn, he fell off only to bust his finger wide open. His latest injury occurred during the same week of the H.E.S. 1-wall Pro Stop. But that didn’t stop him from competing in it. “I put tape around my finger the best I could” said Bastidas. “By the end of the day my finger started to bleed again, and I was happy the final game was postponed for December 4.
This isn't the first time Bastidas has played with a busted finger. He suffered a similar injury in 2006, although it didn't prevent him from reaching the final.
Bastidas, who is still nursing his finger from last week’s accident, will play at the Albany Open this weekend. “I’ll play at the Albany Open even if I have to play only with one hand. I just don’t want to miss the best local 4-wall tournament in the U.S.”. said Bastidas.
The Albany Open had another successful ending with the participation of 136 players from more than 13 States including Canada.
The tournament was covered by WPH Vice-President David Fink and hosted by the Albany Committed headed by Jim Giner. At the banquet, Mr. Giner announced he’ll be stepping down after serving many years as Tournament Director. John Bossung will be serving as the Albany Open new tournament Director.
The Albany Open tournament used the new USHA 21 ball for the first time, and everybody was happy to have played with it.
Open - Men’s singles: D. Fink remembers well what happened the last time he came to New York to challenge 1-wall champion T. Bastidas at the 4-wall Long Island Open. He still carries the emotional scars from that near collapse when he had no choice but to go the three way route to win that match.
This time around a more determined Fink came on the court to challenge defending champion T. Bastidas. Fink’s participation at the WPH pro tour has certainly boosted his game. Bastidas’ hopes in capturing the title for the fourth time were dashed at the end when Fink captured the prestigious Albany Open title for the second time.
Open – Men’s doubles: In the doubles open division familiar faces reached the championship match including defending champions Tyree and Jurell Bastidas. Finalists Mike Schneider and William O’Donnell put up a decent fight, but wasn’t enough to derail the Bastidas express from winning its third Open title.
Team Bastidas is the only team to have reached the championship match with the same partner for the fifth time while Tyree Bastidas still remains the youngest player to win the men’s singles title and the youngest player to win it three years in a row.
Handball News from your Handball Experts
November 23, 2011
Dear Handball Fan,
Here is your SPECIAL edition of Court Shorts! Due to the Thanksgiving Holiday, we have jam-packed everything you need to know into this one great issue. Enjoy and have a Happy Thanksgiving Week!
Above: Tyree Bastidas at the men's open championship match. Photo by USHA.
Handball Community Gives Thanks!
"I am thankful for all the amazing people around me, sports and for being able to do what I love until my heart stops!" ~ Luis Moreno, AZ
"I am thankful for having such great sponsors and great friends at handball tournaments. " ~ Christian Luna, CA
"I am thankful for, as always, handball, family and my health. Can't ask for more." ~ Ricardo Ruiz, CA
"I am thankful for the love that surrounds me and for all my days of good health I am blessed with. Lastly, I am grateful that I recognize my needs from my wants and that I desire very little other than a good handball game. ~ Dori Ten, NY
"I am truly thankful for my job with the USHA. I have met so many great people and have made lifelong friends."
~ Matt Stamp, AZ
"I am thankful for the wonderful life I have...my career, husband, family and of course, my dogs :-) !" ~ Theresa Haley, NY
"I am thankful for the privilege of living in the United States of America!" ~ Larry Krueger, MI
Sweeney Lee is thankful for his bride Uda! The couple is pictured here after their official wedding ceremony last weekend!