Long Beach, California, USA, August 28, 2016 — Perhaps the most dangerous Beach Volleyball player on the planet struck at just the right time for Brazil on Sunday. The 6-foot-11 Evandro Goncalves made the big plays to aid ailing teammate Pedro Solberg as the Olympians captured the gold medal at the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam.Quick links - Long BeachLong Beach Grand Slam websiteQualification - MenQualification - WomenMain draw - MenMain draw - Women
In the final event of the 2016 FIVB World Tour, Evandro/Pedro scored a 21-19, 17-21, 15-9 win a battle of Olympians over Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena of the United States, giving the Brazilians their second gold medal of the season. The 2016 FIVB World Tour regular season concluded in the United States with the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball on a colorful purpose-built venue at Alamitos Beach.
It was the second time in less than two months that Pedro/Evandro stopped Dalhausser/Lucena in a final. The Brazilians scored a tough straight-set win to capture the Gstaad Major in July.
In a matchup of two teams smarting from a disappointing Rio 2016 Olympic Games, Evandro/Pedro restored some confidence in themselves.
“It means me and Evandro, even after the Olympics where we didn’t do what was expected, we are still strong and even after a hard moment we came back strong so I’m very happy for that,” said Pedro, who captured the 17 th title of his career. “I’m happy to see how this team can work even in tough situations.”A view of Centre Court during the men's final
The situation was tough almost from the start. Lucena and Dalhausser never trailed and built a 17-14 lead in the first set before Evandro came up with two big blocks to spark a 5-0 run. The Brazilians put the set away with a crushing hit from Evandro from the right side.
Dalhausser returned the favor from the net in the second set. His block of Pedro gave the Americans a two-point cushion and they closed out the set with a 5-2 run.
The Brazilians never trailed in the third set and Evandro’s block on Lucena gave them an 8-4 lead as Evandro’s serving began to take effect.
“At the beginning he was trying to serve too strong and our tactics were working more on Nick than on Phil today, so we started to serve Nick more and we were finding him more than Phil today,” Pedro said. “We put more pressure on him. Before we were changing too much and making mistakes.”
Evandro/Pedro nearly didn’t make the trip following the Olympics and even when they arrived, Pedro was under the weather.
“I’ve been sick the whole week, I’m feeling bad right now but it’s great to have my partner’s help this whole week,” Pedro said.
Evandro finished the match with eight blocks. He was credited with two aces, but his serve pushed Dalhausser/Lucena into uncomfortable positions on their side of the net.
The gold medal earned the duo a prize check of US$57,000 plus enough points to qualify for the year-ending SWATCH World Tour Finals next month in Toronto. The top prize for the World Tour Finals is US$100,000.
Dalhausser and Lucena, who have already qualified for the Toronto event, pulled in US$43,000 for their work this week but left Alamitos Beach believing they let a golden opportunity for their second title of the season slip away.
“They stole that first set from us, which is kind of disappointing because then maybe we win the match,” Dalhausser said. “We were up 17-14 and they grabbed it from us. But they earned it. They played great.
“We did a good job the first and second set of fending off (Evandro’s) serve but then he got it going in the third. He got me on my line. It’s just on you so fast, so you have to make a decision right away. Evandro played great today. Pedro sided out really well whenever he had the opportunity.”ASICS WSOVB
While the cornerstone of the beach volleyball celebration was the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam (regular season finale of the 2016 FIVB World Tour), the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball encompassed a wide variety of additional elements . Also part of the beach festival have been live entertainment, a special celebrity center court match, an expansive vendor’s village, multiple open, junior and youth beach volleyball tournaments and the very special legends of the game tribute dinner all at the event venue. For complete details regarding the entire ASICS WSOBV, visit the event website at www.wsobv.com.Nick Lucena (left) and Pedro Solberg celebrate on the podiumFIVB LONG BEACH GRAND SLAM PURSE/POINTS
The gold medal teams at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam will split $57,000 and 800 points, the silver $43,000 and 720 points, the bronze $32,000 and 640 points and fourth place $24,000 and 560 points.ON THE HORIZON
Following the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, there are two more events scheduled on the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar. First event scheduled is in the United States--the ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball at the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam (Aug. 23-28) and the Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals (Sept. 13-18, Toronto, Canada). The Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals, with $100,000 going to each winning team, will feature the top eight point leaders in each gender from the current FIVB World Tour plus four wild card teams in each gender.GROWING HISTORY
The ASICS World Series of Beach Volleyball at the $800,000 FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam in the United States was the 350th men’s tournament since the FIVB began play in 1987 and the 311th FIVB women’s tournament since their competition started in 1992. FIVB 2016
Based in Lausanne, Switzerland as the international governing body for the Olympic sports of Beach Volleyball and Volleyball, the 2016 FIVB Beach Volleyball calendar features a purse of US$8.25 million with a season that extends from last October to this October, competing at 22 venues in 12 countries. The schedule includes four FIVB Grand Slams, four Swatch FIVB Major Series events, 13 FIVB Opens and the special Swatch FIVB World Tour Finals. The showcase event will be the Rio 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil (Aug. 6-18).
The 2015 portion of the 2016 FIVB World Tour calendar started in October in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and included two more open events prior to the remainder of the schedule resuming at the FIVB Kish Island Open in Iran in February.