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Who is this Adrian Carambula? Why is he still playing in the Porec Major?

Adrian Carambula (No. 2) and Alex Ranghieri were dancing in the Porec Major sand Saturday with wins over Russian and Brazilian teams to advance to the "final four" at the FIVB World Tour event.
Porec, Croatia, June 6, 2015 - After Saturday’s first men’s quarter-final match here Saturday, everyone was asking who is Adrian Carambula and why is he still playing in the Porec Major?

With the world’s best Beach Volleyball players competing here this week in the US$800,000 Porec Major, Carambula and his new partner Alex Ranghieri are playing in their second FIVB World Tour tournament together and had to qualify Wednesday to earn a spot in the “money” rounds of the inaugural SWATCH Major Series event.

Now, the planet’s elite know the 27-year old Carambula as he and Ranghieri have now won seven of eight matches as the 31st-seeded team in the Porec Major to advance to the semi-finals of the second “major” event that is part of the qualifying process for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Enroute to reaching the Porec semi-finals with other pairs from Canada and The Netherlands, Carambula and Ranghieri have defeated higher-seeded teams from Brazil (twice), Kazakhstan, Norway, Poland, Russia and the United States to compete for a FIVB World Tour gold medal Sunday where the winning team will share the $57,000 first-place prize and garner 800 Olympic qualifying points.

The Italians will play the second semi-final Sunday against 11th-seeded Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen of The Netherlands, the reigning FIVB Beach Volleyball world champions after winning the gold medal in 2013 in Stare Jablonki, Poland.  For the Dutch, it is a “revenge” match as Ranghieri and his then-partner Marco Caminati collected a gold medal in Switzerland when Meeuwsen withdrew from the title match due to knee problems for the Lucerne finale.

The first semi-final will feature 17th-seeded Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter of Canada challenging sixth-seeded Reinder Nummerdor/Christiaan Varenhorst of The Netherlands.

In advancing to the “final four”, Carambula and Ranghieri posted “impressive” wins over pairs from Beach Volleyball power Brazil.  After posting a two-set victory over second-seeded legends Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos Thursday in pool play, the Italians avenged an elimination defeat in Moscow to Evandro Goncalves and Pedro Salgado to score a 2-1 (21-16, 17-21 and 16-14) victory in 56 minutes to advance to the semi-finals.

While Ranghieri has been playing on the FIVB World Tour since 2011 with 28 events and a gold medal to his credit earlier this season, Carambula made his international debut in Moscow where the Italians placed 17th after losing to Evandro and Pedro in three-sets.

Born in Uruguay and living the past several years in the United States, Carambula’s only experience was playing on American domestic tours where one of his partners was Stafford Slick.  Friday, Carambula and Ranghieri defeated Slick and Sean Rosenthal to advance to Saturday’s rounds.

Brouwer and Meeuwsen reached the semi-finals by defeating a team from the United States in the morning and then disappointing the crowd with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-15) win in 32 minutes over 15th-seeded Clemens Doppler and Alexander Horst of Austria.  Playing in their 42nd FIVB World Tour event, the Dutch have reached an international semi-final for the sixth-time with four medals to their credit.

Binstock and Schachter earned a spot in their fourth FIVB World Tour “final four” after defeating a pair of Brazilian teams Saturday, including a semi-final-qualifying victory of second-seeded Emanuel Rego and Ricardo Santos 2-1 (31-33, 21-18, 15-10) in 68 minutes, the longest men’s match in the Porec Major.

Nummerdor and Varenhorst posted wins over North American rivals Saturday highlighted by a 2-1 (21-18, 19-21, 15-10) quarter-final victory over 16th-seeded Ben Saxton and Chaim Schalk of Canada.  The Dutch are playing in the Porec Major after missing a month of action due to an Achilles injury for Nummerdor suffered in the season-opening event in China this past April.

The women’s medal matches were played Saturday at the Porec Major where top-seeded Talita Antunes/Larissa Franca of Brazil played 17th-seeded Heather Bansley/Sarah Pavan of Canada for the gold medal.

Following this and next week’s SWATCH Major Series event in Norway, the FIVB World Tour crosses the Atlantic Ocean for an event in the United States in St. Petersburg, Fla.  The June schedule ends with the start of the world championships in The Netherlands.


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