Guto/Saymon win Cincinnati gold

Mason, Ohio, USA, May 21, 2016 – It’s safe to say that Gustavo Carvalhaes and Saymon Barbosa are no longer a secret in Brazil with some of the victories they’ve come up with against their compatriots.

The rest of the world got a good look at the pair of 22-year-olds this week as they rolled through the FIVB Cincinnati Open presented by the AVP and not only reached the first final of their FIVB World Tour career, but came away with the gold medal with a convincing 22-20, 21-8 victory Saturday over Josh Binstock and Sam Schachter of Canada.

The event, which is one of the last three Olympic qualifiers through the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour ended Saturday at the prominent Lindner Family Tennis Center in Mason, Ohio and was the seventh tournament in the stretch of eight straight events on the FIVB World Tour. Next week the FIVB World Tour returns to Russia for the double-gender FIVB Moscow Grand Slam.

Guto and Saymon, as they’re known, won all seven of their matches in the tournament and didn’t drop a set in their four elimination-round matches. The whole deal seemed to surprise them as much as anyone.

“It’s our first final and the first gold medal and we are very happy,” said the 6-foot-1 Guto, who had 19 kills and 14 digs in the championship match. “I don’t know what is happening yet. I just want to celebrate, rest and now we need to go to Russia.

“For us it’s a big victory. We are working hard for this. It was our objective to come to the semifinals, and it’s this.”

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Guto and Saymon have some impressive wins under their belt, such as beating legends Ricardo and Emanuel plus contemporaries Alison Cerutti and Bruno Oscar Schmidt, the current No. 1 team in the world, plus Alvaro Filho and Vitor Felipe. Guto acknowledged this but placed their gold medal above those victories.

“I want to play like Bruno,” Guto said. “I say that all the time. Every time, I’m watching him play.”

Binstock and Schachter, on the bubble in the Olympic qualifying race, were riding their own six-match win streak heading into the final. Earlier in the day, they rallied to take out No. 2 seeds Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena in the semifinals.

That came after they defeated three other Canadian teams on their way to the final.

“I’ve never played that many Canadians in my life,” Binstock said with a smile.

Schachter and Binstock have had a bit of a return to form since the beginning of the season, when they couldn’t finish higher than 17 th place in any event. But after a fifth-place finish in Fuzhou, China last month, they’ve placed no lower than ninth place.

“We didn’t have a great start to the season and there are reasons for that and there’s no need to get into it,” Binstock said. “Now we’ve kind of been on a roll, we’re getting some more consistent finishes. We know we can beat anybody in the world and it’s getting down to crunch time and we’ve played almost every tournament, which is a little bit ridiculous.

“But we believe in ourselves.”

 Binstock admitted that the semifinal victory, in which they dropped the second game by 21-10, took some starch out of their game in the final.

“For sure,” he said. “It was pretty difficult to take those guys out, of all the guys on their home turf. We definitely didn’t have the oomph we did in that match. You’ve got to find ways to win and we didn’t really adjust but we were trying.”

In the first set, Binstock and Schachter jumped out to a 5-2 lead and led 11-9 before an 8-3 run by Guto and Saymon enabled them to take the lead and finally close it out.
The Brazilians opened the second game with a 5-0 lead and led 8-5 when they simply did everything right and nothing went the way the Canadians needed. The 6-7 Saymon was all over the net and the speedy Guto not only got to every ball that came near him, he sprung to the net and put shots away with his 40-inch vertical leap.

In their only previous meeting, Binstock and Schachter defeated Guto and Saymon last summer at the FIVB Long Beach Grand Slam.

“They played amazing but we also played poorly, both of us, and we weren’t the same team we were in the semis,” Binstock said. “No rhythm, and we were trying everything and they were on everything. They played great, got a few bounces and we played terrible.”

The gold medal teams at the FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP, will split $11,000 and 500 points, the silver $8,000 and 450 points, the bronze $6,000 400 points and fourth place $4,500 and 450 points.

With placement points for the FIVB Olympic Rankings for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games continuing, the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour continues with events over eight straight weeks through the end of May. In all, Brazil is hosting five international events in 2016. In addition to Maceió, Rio, Vitoria and Fortaleza, the Brazil events conclude with the Rio 2016 Olympic Games (Aug. 6-18).

The FIVB World Tour was in Europe for two events over the last two weeks. Up first was in Russia two weeks followed by last week’s FIVB Antalya Open in Turkey (May 10-15). The tour is visiting the United States for the first time in 2016 this week for the FIVB Cincinnati Open, presented by AVP (May 17-21) in Mason, Ohio. Next week, the FIVB World Tour returns to Russia for the FIVB Moscow Grand Slam (May 24-29). After a one week respite, the final Olympic qualifying event on the FIVB World Tour will be the FIVB Hamburg Major Series in Germany (June 7-12).


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