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NEWS

Men’s final four set for Saturday’s semifinals at FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam

 
Poland's Bartoszk Losia, left, and Piotr Kantor stunned the both the number 9 and number 4 seeds Friday to advance to their first FIVB World Tour semifinal, this one in Brazil at the FIVB Sao Paulo Grand Slam.
 
São Paulo, Brazil, September 26, 2014 — Fighting through some serious opposition not to mention a challenging afternoon rainstorm, four men’s teams from Brazil, Canada, Netherlands, and Poland have advanced to Saturday’s semifinals at the double-gender US$800,000 FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam.

Appearing in Brazil at least once a year for 28 consecutive years, the FIVB World Tour stop is being held in São Paulo through Sunday in a purpose-built venue on the grounds of the Barueri Arena.

WEEKEND SKED

The last of 10 FIVB Grand Slams on the 2014 FIVB World Tour calendar, the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam started on Tuesday.  On Saturday, the women’s and men’s semifinals will be played along with the two bronze medal matches. The women’s and men’s gold medal matches and awarding ceremony will close the FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam will conclude the event on Sunday.

MEN’S FINAL FOUR
Meeting in Saturday morning’s semifinals at Barueri complex will be Netherlands’ 13th-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst challenging Canada’s 23rd-seeded Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter and Poland’s 16th-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak meeting Brazil’s sixth-seeded Ricardo Santos/Emanuel Rego.

FIVB PURSE, TOURNEY TOTALS
The FIVB São Paulo Grand Slam is the 310th FIVB men’s tournament since its first event in 1987 and the 274th FIVB women’s tournament since FIVB began women’s competitions in 1992. There has been at least one FIVB World Tour event in Brazil since it started 28 years ago and this is the 36th men’s and 31st women’s FIVB World Tour event held in Brazil.

Gold medal winning teams in each gender in São Paulo will split $57,000, silver will receive $43,000, bronze medalists get $32,000 and the fourth place finishers will earn $24,000 of the $800,000 total purse.

SEMIFINAL PREVIEWS
Rising above the field and meeting and overcoming each challenge presented, meeting in Saturday’s semifinals will be Netherlands’ 13th-seeded Nummerdor/Varenhorst playing Canada’s 23rd-seeded Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter followed by Poland’s 16th-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak challenging home-country favorite in Brazil’s sixth-seeded Ricardo Santos/Emanuel Rego duo.

The first semifinal will feature two new teams who will be making their first semifinal appearances. Netherlands’ Nummerdor/Varenhorst are playing in just their second tournament together with one fifth-place finish and they are 4-1 in this tournament. Individually, Nummerdor is a veteran Olympian from the Netherlands, playing in his 80th career FIVB tournament with nine gold medals. Varenhorst is in his 47th FIVB tournament with a career best third place in Fuzhou this year.

Canada’s Binstock/Schachter are playing in just their fifth tournament as a team with a best finish of 17th in Long Beach this year. They are 5-0 in Brazil. Individually, Binstock is playing in his 53rd FIVB event with no other final four finish. Schachter is playing in his 22nd FIVB event .

In the other semifinal, Poland’s Kantor/Losiak are playing in their 29th FIVB event as a team and are making their first final four appearance on the FIVB World Tour. They have a 4-2 record in this even, but today they defeated both USA’s ninth-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson and Latvia’s fourth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins. Their best FIVB World Tour finish was a fifth place here in Brazil last year. They have also won four FIVB age group world championship medals, including three gold medals.

Brazil’s legendary Ricardo/Emanuel are back playing again as teammates after a five year absence. They are 5-0 here in Brazil in their first tournament back. Overall, this is their 89th FIVB tournament together with 65 final four finishes including 89 gold medals. Individually, this is the 208th FIVB tournament for Ricardo with 56 FIVB gold medals. For Emanuel, this is his 245 FIVB event and he has 77 FIVB career gold medals.

QUARTERFINAL RESULTS
Canada’s Binstock/Sam Schachter upset compatriots Canada’s 15th-seeded Chaim Schalk/Ben Saxton, 21-18, 25-23 in 44 minutes, Netherlands’ Nummerdor/Varenhorst eliminated Turkey’s 26th-seeded Murat Giginoglu/Volkan Gogtepe, 21-19, 21-14 in 34 minutes, Brazil’s Ricardo/Emanuel outlasted Germany’s 30th-seeded Sebastian Dollinger/Marcus Popp in another three-set match, finally closing out in the tiebreaker, 21-18, 18-21 and 15-13 in 49 minutes and Poland’s Kantor/Losiak overcame Latvia’s fourth-seeded Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins in three sets to win 21-18, 20-22 and 15-13 in 75 minutes.

Canada’s Schalk/Saxton, 4-1 in São Paulo, Turkey’s Giginoglu/Gogtepe, 3-3, Germany’s Dollinger/Popp, 3-2 and Latvia’s Samoilovs/J. Smedins, 4-2 all leave São Paulo with official fifth-place finishes and purses of $17,000 per team.

THEY SAID IT
Sam Schachter (CAN): "That was a really tough match, we've only played them once before this year, in nationals, and we came out on top in that. We both know each other's games, so it's about executing, and we played really well today. It's a little weird with all the rain, and the delays, but Josh is really good at keeping the team focused and grounded. It was a tough win but probably one of our biggest. We sided-out really well and Josh got a ton of blocks which made my life very easy on defence, our ball control, our pass-set was very solid and we kept ourselves calm in panic situations, especially when it got close at the end of the game."
"We know we're capable of great things, but I mean we just haven't gotten the results yet.I guess no-one else really expects us to reach this level of play quite yet but we know we're ready, our coaches believe we're ready, our whole support team is really helping us get to the next level and finally we reach our first semifinal ever."

Emanuel (BRA): “So many games played in three sets shows how balanced the FIVB World Tour is this year. This is also a challenge for us, to find out how to play quicker points. We're keeping the pressure on, keeping calm in the important moments where you can't make a mistake. We knew that the start (of the new partnership) would be a little difficult, it was something we expected, but the victories are happening and this raises our confidence.”
(on semifinal opponents)
“I have seen them (Losiak/Kantor) play here in Sao Paulo and they are very good, very consistent and with a good rhythm. The return of the ball is a strong point and they are young with a lot of energy. We'll rest, then study their game and come (tomorrow) with everything we have.”

ROUND OF 16 RESULTS
In the first four round of 16 matches featuring the eight pool winners against the winners of the matches between the second and third place pool finishers, Latvia’s Samoilovs/Smedins  upset Brazil’s top-seeded Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt, 21-17, 21-19 in 38 minutes, Turkey’s Giginoglu/Gogtepe surprisingly upended USA’s fifth-seeded John Hyden/Tri Bourne in three sets, 17-21, 21-16 and 17-15 in 55 minutes, Brazil’s Ricardo/Emanuel overcame the rain and Poland’s second-seeded Mariusz Prudel/Grzegorz Fijalek in two overtime sets, 26-24, 23-21 in 67 minutes, the longest of the tournament and Poland’s 16th-seeded Piotr Kantor/Bartosz Losiak brokethrough again by winning over USA’s ninth-seeded Jake Gibb/Casey Patterson, 21-17, 21-19 in 33 minutes.

In the other four men’s quarterfinals Friday, Canada’s Schalk/Saxton beat Netherlands’ 11th-seeded Alexander Brouwer/Robert Meeuwsen, 21-16, 23-21 in 34 minutes,  Canada’s Binstock/Schachter pulled off another upset, defeating  Russia’s eighth-seeded Vicheslav Krasilnikov/Konstantin Semenov, 21-19, 21-15 in 37 minutes, Netherlands’ Nummerdor/Varenhorst stopped USA’s 27th-seeded John Mayer/Theodore Brunner in two sets, 21-15, 21-15 in 32 minutes and Germany’s Dollinger/Popp topped another higher seed in beating Brazil’s 12th-seeded Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves, 28-26, 13-21 and 16-14 in 55 minutes.

The losers in the round of 16 were eliminated and leave São Paulo with official ninth-place finishes and purses of $11,000 per team.

LEGENDS A NEW TEAM
Brazil’s iconic Olympians Ricardo Santos/Emanuel Rego are in their first FIVB World Tour event in five years and started their homecoming in style by winning their second and third pool play matches Thursday to win their pool with a perfect 3-0 mark.

On Friday, they won both of their elimination matches. First, they knocked of Poland’s second-seeded Mariusz Prudel/Grzegorz Fijalek, 26-24, 23-21 in 66 minutes. After a rain delay of nearly two hours, they came back to close the evening session by defeating Germany’s surprisingly tough Sebastian Dollinger/Marcus Popp, 21-18, 18-21 and 15-13 in 49 minutes.

BRAZILIAN HOMECOMING
As the host nation, Brazil has six teams in the men’s main draw. Brazil had four men’s teams pre-seeded into the main draw and two more teams emerged from Tuesday’s qualification tournament. For the men, the Brazilian teams in the main draw and their record so far overall is 12-10 and individually is Marcio Araujo/Fabio Luiz Magalhaes (0-3), Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt (3-1), Pedro Salgado/Alvaro Filho (1-2) and Ricardo Santos/Emanuel Rego (5-0). The men’s qualification teams from Brazil who advanced and their overall tournament records are Gustavo Carvalhaes/Allison Cittadin (2-2) and Vitor Felipe/Evandro Goncalves (1-2). The two teams that did not advance are Araujo/Magalhaes and Salgado/Filho.




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