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Men’s favorites are in Varadero Semifinals


VARADERO, Cuba, April 28, 2018 – Teams from USA, Canada and Cuba, among the top favorites of the third stage of the NORCECA Circuit in Varadero, advanced to the semifinals of the competition being held at the international tourist destination for eight years now, including the home favorites Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez, three-time defending champions.


The duo who finished fifth at the 2016 Olympics are in their first presentation in the circuit this year while taking part in the world tour and despite showing a solid game they will have tough opponents in the semifinals against Canadians Michael Plantinga and Aaron Nusbaum, winners of the stage in Aguascalientes in the opening event of the season.


The Canadians finished fourth in La Paz, Baja California Sur, but like the home side did not have difficulties in winning their respective pools as well as the quarterfinals against rivals of lesser technical and competitive level.


To secure their spot in the semifinals, Plantinga and Nusbaum beat Andy Leonardo y Erick Garrido (GUA) 2-0 (21-13, 21-15), while Díaz and González downed Rubén Mora/Dany Lopez (NCA) 2-0 (21-12, 21-17).


In the other semifinals the USA teams, Chase Frishman/ James Avery Drost (USA-A) and Reid Priddy/Troy Field (USA-B), will face each other after the first clash of the men’s matches with all the program in schedule to be transmitted via the sport channel of Telerebelde.


Priddy/Field, silver medalists in the two previous phases, finished the dreams of Daisel Quesada y Karell/Peña (CUB-B) 2-1 (21-14, 18-21, 15-10), co-owners since 2017  of a NORCECA Circuit record of three consecutive titles, who began their season with a fifth place in Aguascalientes after falling to Plantinga and Nusbaum in quarterfinals.


On the other hand, Frishman and Drost used their rhythm and superiority to beat Castillo and Jeambatis (DOM) 2-0 (21-13, 21-15).


Completion of Pools (Saturday):

Pool A: Nivaldo/González (CUB-A) d Tato/Pepe (ESA) 2-0 (21-13, 21-15); Leonardo/Garrido (GUA) d Giandro/Daal (CUR-A) 2-0 (21-9, 21-5); Nivaldo/González (CUB-A) d Leonardo/Garrido (GUA) 2-0 (21-15, 21-12);  Tato/Pepe (ESA) d Flores/Menjivar (HON) 2-1 (10-21, 21-18, 15-5). 


Pool B: Plantinga/Nusbaum (CAN) d Seabrookes/Percival (SKN) 2-0 (21-17, 21-6); Mora/López (NCA) d Gibi/Anthony (CUR-A) 2-0 (21-13, 21-11); Plantinga/Nusbaum (CAN) d Mora/López (NCA) 2-0 (21-15, 22-20);  Ribas/Quiñones (PUR) d Seabrookes/Percival (SKN) 2-0 (21-14, 21-12).


Pool C: Castillo/Jeambatis (DOM) Santamaria/Parham (CAY-A) 2-0 (21-4, 21-12); Peter/Rosa (ISV) d Ebanks/Dack (CAY-B) forfeit;  Quesada/Peña (CUB-B) d Santamaria/Parham (CAY-A) 2-0 (21-4, 21-13); Castillo/Jeambatis (DOM) d Peter/Rosa (ISV) 2-0 (21-4, 21-14).


Pool D: Priddy/Field (USA-B) d Cuello/Cuesto Murillo (COL) 2-0 (21-19, 21-19)              ; Reyes/Chichi (CUB-C) d Hitchman/Ferguson (JAM) 2-0 (21-7, 21-9); Frishman/Drost  (USA-A) d Cuello/Cuesto Murillo (COL) 2-0 (21-13, 21-15); Priddy/Field  (USA-B) d Reyes/Chichi (CUB-C) 2-1 (21-17, 15-21, 15-12).


Losers Play Off: Hitchman/Ferguson (JAM) d Flores/Menjivar (HON) 2-1 (21-12, 17-21, 16-14); Seabrookes/Percival (SKN) d Peter/Rosa (ISV) 2-0 forfeit; Giandro/Daal (CUR-A) Cuello/Cuesto Murillo (COL) 2-0 forfeit; Santamaria/Parham (CAY-B) d            Gibi/Anthony (CUR-B) forfeit; Reyes/Chichi (CUB-C) d Tato/Pepe (ESA) 2-0 (21-10, 21-12); Ribas/Quiñones (PUR) Ebanks/Dack (CAY-A) 2-0 (21-10, 21-11).


Quarterfinals: Nivaldo/González (CUB-A) d Mora/López (NCA) 2-0 (21-12, 21-17);  Frishman/Drost (USA-A) d Castillo/Jeambatis (DOM) 2-0 (21-13, 21-15); Priddy/Field (USA-B) d Quesada/Peña (CUB-B)  2-1 (21-14, 18-21, 15-10) ; Plantinga/Nusbaum (CAN) d Leonardo/Garrido (GUA) 2-0 (21-13, 21-15).