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Pata wins Best Player award as Vanuatu pair claim AVC Beach Tour Ha Long Open

Vanuatu's Miller Pata and Linline Matautu claim gold at the AVC Beach Tour Ha Long Open
Ha Long, Vietnam, May 3, 2015 - Vanuatu’s Miller Pata/Linline Matautu - currently 43rd in the world and fifth at last Sunday’s FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Fuzhou Open in China - powered past Japan 1’s Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe in straight sets 2-0 (21-16 21-19) in the 41-minute final showdown on Sunday to claim the AVC Beach Tour Tuan Chau Ha Long Open.

Pata and Matautu did not lose a set in the four-day tournament ending on Sunday. Ahead of their fifth-place finish at the Fuzhou Open, the Vanuatu pairing had also proved their worth at the AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Samila Open in Songkhla, Thailand from April 14 to 16, where they captured the title following a straight-sets win over an Indonesian duo in the showdown.

They also performed well at the AVC Beach Volleyball Tour Thungsong Open in Nakhon Si Thammarat, Thailand, advancing to the final round, but lost to Japanese pair Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe.

Sunday’s victory over the Japan 1 duo, however, made up for the final-round loss they had suffered at the hands of the same opponents at the Thungsong Open.

Pata and Matautu got the final day off to a great start by outclassing Australia’s Solar Artacho/Becchara Palmer 2-0 (21-18 21-19) in the semifinals, while the second semifinal encounter saw Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe outclass Miki Ishii/Megumi Murakami 2-0 (21-19 21-14) in the all-Japanese affair.

In the final clash against Nishibori and Mizoe, Vanuatu’s Pata and Matautu combined well to produce strong attacks and effective drops to take the first set 21-16. Going down one set, the Japanese came back much stronger in the second set, hitting back with spectacular spikes to the empty back court. However, their play was countered by Vanuatu’s challengers, who won the closely-contested second set 21-19.

Earlier, Australia’s Solar Artacho/Becchara Palmer played consistently in the third-place playoff against Miki Ishii/Megumi Murakami to defeat the Japan 2 team 2-0 (21-14 21-18) in 40 minutes and claim the bronze medals.

Final rankings:
1. Miller Pata/Linline Matautu (Vanuatu)
2. Takemi Nishibori/Sayaka Mizoe (Japan 1)
3. Solar Artacho/Becchara Palmer (Australia)
4. Miki Ishii/Megumi Murakami (Japan 2)
5. Wang Yuanyuan/Tang Ningya (China 1); Mai Thi Hoa/Nguyen Thi Tiep (Vietnam 2)
7. Thanh Tram/Tuyet Ngan (Vietnam 1); Julia Tilley/Shaunna Polley (New Zealand 1)
9. Wang Xinxin/Ding Jingjing (China 2); Laosaengsa/Khantarak (Thailand 2); Ng Tin Lai/Wong Yuen Mei (Hong Kong 1); Danielle/Melissa Ruru (New Zealand 2)
13. Lo Wai Yan/Tam Hing Ching (Hong Kong 2); Chong/Lau (Singapore); Eleferenko/Kovepovnikova (Kazakhstan 1); Ossipova/Bobrova (Kazakhstan 2)
17. Saowaros/Sumintra (Thailand 1)

Best player:
Miller Pata (Vanuatu)


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