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  Acapulco  2006   Men's Open
25.10.2006 -  28.10.2006


Macau Trip Nets SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Dividends for Portuguese

Acapulco, Mexico, October 25, 2006 - Little did Pedro Rosas and Jose Pedrosa know that their silver medal finish at the 2006 Macau Games two weeks ago would pay dividends for the Portuguese pair here Wednesday during the opening rounds of men’s US$400,000 Corona Open.

After winning a qualifying match Tuesday on the Playa Tamarindos to advance to the Main Draw as the 24th-seeded team in the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event, Rosas and Pedrosa posted a pair of wins Wednesday over teams from Mexico and Italy to advance to the third-round of the winner’s bracket for the first-time in their 23 international starts together.

“I think playing in the hot and humid weather in Macau two weeks ago helped prepare us for this event,” said Pedrosa after his team’s 31-29 and 21-15 second-round win over eighth-seeded Ricardo Lione and Matteo Varnier of Italy, who placed fourth in the 2005 Corona Open.  “Despite the very muggy conditions, I think we were better acclimated to the conditions.”

After several days of heavy rains in the Acapulco-area last week left the humidity at high levels, Wednesday’s opening Main Draw rounds were played in mid-90 degree heat.  “If you are not use to the high humidity, it can drain you of a lot of energy.  I think we are better prepared for the conditions.”

Rosas and Pedrosa were one of eight teams posting 2-0 marks Wednesday in the 14th and final men’s event on the 2006 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour.  With three-straight victories in the Corona Open, including a 22-20 and 21-16 over the ninth-seeded Ontiveros brothers (Lombardo and Ulises) of Mexico, the Portuguese will challenge top-seeded Marcio Araujo and Fabio Magalhaes of Brazil in their first match Thursday.

“I think this is the best we have played since forming our partnership at the start of the 2005 season,” said the 28-year old Pedrosa, who has been playing full-time on the SWATCH circuit since 2000.  “It would be great to finish this year with our best-ever international placement.”

Rosas, who started playing full-time internationally last season, and Pedrosa’s best FIVB finishes were ninths, including three months ago in Marseille, France.  “It’s a great feeling to know that your first match on the second day of Main Draw is not in the loser’s bracket.  We had two tough matches today and tomorrow we face the world champions first thing.”

The success by the Portuguese pair also “rubbed off” on the teams of 21st-seeded Ahren Cadieux/Mark Heese of Canada and 26th-seeded Riccardo Fenili and Andrea Tomatis of Italy as both Beach Volleyball tandems won a pair of matches Wednesday.

Heese, a three-time Olympian and bronze medal finisher at the Atlanta 1996 Summer Games and Cadieux posted wins over higher-seeded teams from Norway and the United States.  The Canadians will face their second-straight American opponent Thursday when they challenge fourth-seeded Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal, who finished second in their last SWATCH appearance in Brazil.

Playing in only their third SWATCH event together, Fenili and Tomatis upset seventh-seeded Sean Scott and Kevin Wong of the United States in their first match Wednesday followed by a win over a Mexican team to gain a spot in the third-round of the winner’s bracket against reigning Olympic champions and 2005 Corona Open gold medalists Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos

Thursday’s other opening winner’s bracket match has third-seeded and 2005 Corona Open silver medalists Pedro Cunha and Franco Neto of Brazil facing sixth-seeded Penggen Wu and Linyin Xu, who claimed China’s first-ever international men’s Beach Volleyball medal in their last international start together at August’s Poland stop.

Sixteen other men’s teams remain in the double-elimination event with one defeat each.  The 10th of 10 double gender events on the 2006 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour calendar, the Corona Open concludes Saturday for men and Sunday for women.  The gold medal teams in each gender will share the $32,000 first-place prizes.  The women’s SWATCH calendar ends next week in Phuket, Thailand.

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