Men's competition, Berlin
From 23 June To 27 June 2004

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Laciga's Luck Nets Smart Grand Slam "Final Four" Spot
BERLIN, GERMANY, June 26, 2004 - "Luck" has been with the Lacigas this weekend as a forfeit by one of their home country rivals led the Swiss brothers to a spot in the "final four" of the US$600,000 Smart Grand Slam here Saturday.

After winning five-straight elimination bracket match the past two days, the Lacigas (Martin and Paul) will play top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil in Sunday's first semi-final match. Third-seeded Markus Dieckmann and Jonas Reckermann of Germany face 14th-seeded Mariano Baracetti and Martin Conde of Argentina in the second semi-final match.

With Swiss countrymen Patrick Heuscher withdrawing from the competition Friday after winning a match over a Cuban team due to partner Stefan Kobel's leg injury, Saturday's final match was not held to give the fifth-seeded Lacigas a pass on playing their sixth elimination bracket match in the SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event.

The Lacigas advanced to their first "final four" this season by out-lasting ninth-seeded Andreas Scheuerpflug and Christoph Dieckmann 15-21, 21-17 and 15-13 in 51 minutes. Saturday's last "final four" qualifiers were Baracetti and Conde, who ousted fourth-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Marcio Araujo of Brazil 26-24, 19-21 and 18-16 in 63 minutes.

"We have been pretty lucky all week," said Martin Laciga after his final match Saturday. "After losing our first game Thursday, we had time to reflect about the defeat. In a regular event, we would have been back on the sand playing two more matches in the same day. Our luck continued with wins over the Austrians and Norwegians Thursday."

Sunday's semi-final match will also be the Lacigas first in 12 events. The Swiss brother's last appeared in a "final four" in Marseille where they lost the gold medal match to Emanuel and Ricardo last July 20. Competing in their 113th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event together, the Lacigas have now reached their 33rd "final four" with six gold medal finishes.

Baracetti and Conde, who reached their third "final four" this season with a bronze medal in Brazil and a silver medal in Puerto Rico, followed the same route to the semi-finals as the Lacigas, except the Argentineans had to play the sixth elimination bracket game.

Competing in 21st SWATCH-FIVB World Tour "final four" in 42 international starts together, Baracetti and Conde have four "open" FIVB gold medals. Their last gold medal finish was more than two years ago in Switzerland.

The silver medallists in the 2003 Smart Grand Slam, Baracetti and Conde were defeated in their opening match against a United States team before eliminating tandems from Germany, Spain, the United States, Cuba, Australia and Brazil.

"We are tired," said Baracetti after his team's third match Saturday. "It is good to be back in the semi-finals in Berlin. Our last two matches against the Aussies and the Brazilians were close and we had rally at the end of both deciding sets to win."
Press releases
Date Press release
27-Jun-2004 Second-Straight Final Nets German First International Gold
27-Jun-2004 Segunda final consecutiva les da primer oro internacional a alemanes
27-Jun-2004 Argentina's Baracetti & Conde Bronze Winners
27-Jun-2004 Swiss Brothers Net Seventh-Straight Smart Grand Slam Win
27-Jun-2004 Hermanos suizos se anotan su séptimo triunfo consecutivo en el Grand Slam Smart
27-Jun-2004 The 'Recking Ball Stops Argentinean's Hopes
27-Jun-2004 Alemanes detienen esperanzas argentinas
26-Jun-2004 Laciga's Luck Nets Smart Grand Slam "Final Four" Spot
26-Jun-2004 La suerte de los Laciga los lleva a semifinales en el Smart Grand Slam
26-Jun-2004 Emanuel & Ricardo Snare All-Brazil Win
26-Jun-2004 Emanuel y Ricardo se llevan duelo brasileño
25-Jun-2004 Germany Nets Men's "Final Four" Berth
25-Jun-2004 Alemania alcanza vacante en los "cuatro finales"
25-Jun-2004 Brazilians like Format, Seek Reversal
25-Jun-2004 A los brasileños les gusta el formato, y buscan revertir situación
24-Jun-2004 Different Week, Similar Look
24-Jun-2004 Semana diferente, parecido similar
24-Jun-2004 Sydney Olympic Gold Medallists on Different Path
24-Jun-2004 No Repeat Champions Again for Smart Grand Slam
23-Jun-2004 Men's Smart Grand Slam Main Draw Filled
23-Jun-2004 Se completa el Cuadro Principal del Gran Slam Smart Masculino
23-Jun-2004 Brazilian & USA Matches Highlight Country Quota Rounds
20-Jun-2004 German Men's Team Seeks More Successes


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