Men's South Africa Open 2004
Cape Town, March 23-28

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Bosma & Herrera's Upset Win Secures Best Finish Together
CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA, March 27, 2004 - Continuing the lead set by the Austrians and Japanese this week, 18th-seeded Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera of Spain posted their biggest win together here Saturday by eliminated the Laciga brothers from the US$180,000 South Africa Open.

Playing the first match Saturday with ideal weather conditions at Camp Bays, Bosma and Herrera survived a case of second-set "jitters" to out-last the eighth-seeded Lacigas (Martin and Paul) of Switzerland 22-24, 21-19 and 16-14 to advance to the finals of the elimination bracket against third-seeded Benjamin Insfran and Harley Marques of Brazil.

After losing the first set Saturday, the Spaniards held a 20-17 in the second set when the 21-year old Herrera began to feel the pressure against the Lacigas, who were playing in their 108th SWATCH-FIVB World Tour event compared to the Spanish team's sixth.

"Pablo really got anxious and started to feel the pressure of the match," said the 34-year old Bosma, who is playing in his 113th FIVB event compared to Herrera's 11th. "He also was feeling sore with a strained stomach muscle and was unsure of his hitting."

Bosma and Herrera were able to steady the ship to win the second set. In the deciding third set, Trailing for most of the third set, the Spaniards tied the score at 12s after rebounding from 11-9 and 12-10 deficits.

"I just told Pablo to relax and realize that this win against one of the world's great teams would really help our Olympic chances," said Bosma, who played in the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games with Fabio Diaz where they placed fifth.

The winner of the match between Bosma and Herrera against the Brazilians will advance to Saturday's first semi-final match against top-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos of Brazil. The Spaniards still need to compete in two more SWATCH-FIVB World Tour events to qualify for Olympic consideration. With at least 252 points for the South Africa Open, this weekend's performance will enhance their standings for Athens.

In the lower bracket, the 26th-seeded Austrian team of Robert Nowotny and Peter Gartmayer await the winner of the match between 12th-seeded Tande Ramos and Franco Neto of Brazil against ninth-seeded Christoph Dieckmann and Andreas Scheuerpflug of Germany. The Germans advanced to the finals of the elimination bracket with a 19-21, 21-17 and 15-11 win over second-seeded Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of Switzerland.

Play continues Saturday with four more matches, including the semi-finals to determine the pairings for Sunday's medal matches. The gold medal match is set for Sunday where the winning team will split the $27,000 first-place prize.