Men's China Open 2004
Lianyungang, May 19-23

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Ricardo/Emanuel Set Up All Brazilian Semi-final at Men's China Open
LIANYUNGANG, China, May 22, 2004 - Top seeds and world No. 1 tandem Ricardo Santos and Emanuel Rego survived elimination scare Saturday afternoon to set up an all-Brazilian semi-final against Pedro Cunha and Rogerio Para in the 2004 SWATCH-FIVB World Tour Men's China Open.

Ricardo and Emanuel, who won the season opener in Salvador where they defeated Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel of the Switzerland in the final, overpowered 17th seeds Eric Fonoimoana and Kevin Wong from the United States 21-14 and 21-17 in Saturday's last elimination match after surrendering to 12th-seeded Spanish duo Javier Bosma and Pablo Herrera 24-22 and 21-19 in the winner's bracket.

Bosma and Herrera will play tenth seeds Todd Rogers and Sean Scott of the United States in the other semi-final Sunday morning.

Ricardo and Emanuel were still full of confidence despite the defeat to the Spaniards. "We did not have real chances today," Emanuel said. "They (Bosma and Herrera) just had their best day of the tournament and it will be a different day tomorrow."

Brazilian qualifiers Cunha and Para cruised into the semi-finals by beating Rogers and Scott 19-21, 27-25 and 22-20 for their six straight win at the coastal town of Lianyungang.

"The all-Brazilian semi-final will be a high-profile game," said Emanuel, whom with Ricardo are seeking their seventh SWATCH-FIVB gold medal since forming their partnership at the end of the 2002 season. "I hope Ricardo and I will be in good shape."

Rogers and Scott, who dropped their only match so far at the $180,000 China Open to Cunha and Para in the fourth round of the winner's bracket, eased past fourth seeds Patrick Heuscher and Stefan Kobel 21-16 and 21-16 Saturday afternoon for a berth in top four.

Following the Lianyungang event, the men's SWATCH-FIVB Tour continues with a stop next week in Serbia and Montenegro (May 26-30). Other Olympic qualifying events prior to July 11 will be held in Portugal, Puerto Rico, Switzerland, Germany and Norway.