Rubio & Gaxiola learn from Mexican compatriots
DOHA, Qatar, March 11, 2020 – Jose Luis Rubio and Josue Gaxiola
knew exactly who to thank after they reached the quarterfinals
of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour 4-Star Katara Beach
Volleyball Cup on Wednesday, their fellow Mexicans Lombardo
Ontiveros and Juan Virgen.
Rubio and Gaxiola are playing in their first overseas World Tour
event having previously featured at events in Puerto Vallarta
and Chetumal in Mexico.
By contrast, training partners Ontiveros and Virgen, who were
eliminated in Doha in the first knockout round, are firm
fixtures on the World Tour and are eyeing a second Olympic Games
at Tokyo 2020 having enjoyed a ninth-placed finish on their
Olympic debut at Rio de Janeiro 2016.
“Lombardo and Juan are really experienced in the Tour,” Rubio
said. “They have spoken to us at length about what is needed to
compete on the Tour, and we learn a lot from them when we train
together at the Mexico National Training Centre in Mazatlan.”
Rubio and Gaxiola won silver at the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball
U19 World Championships and since then they have played on the
NORCECA Tour in North America and the Caribbean.
They reached the quarterfinals in Doha with a nerve-wracking 2-1
(23-21, 8-21, 15-8) win over the USA’s Tri Bourne and Trevor
“It was a really good match for us as our opponents were really
good,” Rubio said. “The first set was crazy, and I don’t want to
even think about the second set, but in the tie-break, we
managed to get ahead and win.
“We just wanted to think positively in the tie-break. My partner
was quite angry at the end of the second set, but I spoke to him
in the break and explained that I believed we could win and
managed to make him relax.”
The men-only tournament in Doha is running from March 9-13 at
Katara Cultural Village in the north of the city. It is the
second of nine 4-Star events on the 2019-2020 calendar and the
winners will leave with 800 ranking points.
Qatar has built up a strong tradition of hosting World Tour
events since it hosted its first in 2014. Two more followed in
2015 and 2016, then in 2018 the tournament grew from a 3-Star
tournament to a 4-Star tournament.