Mexico and Italy in Antalya Open men’s final

Antalya, Turkey, October 25, 2015 – The inaugural FIVB World Tour Antalya Open will have another Italian team on the podium. On Saturday Marta Menegatti and Viktoria Orsi Toth won the silver in the women’s tournament and Sunday morning Alex Ranghieri and Adrian Carambula reached the men’s final in Turkey.

The second seeded Italians defeated Latvia’s new pair Martins Plavins and Haralds Regza 2-0 (24-22, 21-19) in het semifinal. They will play Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros from Mexico for the gold in the afternoon. For both teams this is their first World Tour final.

Ranghieri and Carambula, who won bronze this year at the Porec Major Series, didn’t have much time to prepare for the semifinal. “We overslept because our phone time was still on Italy and it changed automatically”, Carambula explained. Unlike the rest of Europe Turkey did not change to wintertime overnight.

“So we woke up two hours before the game and I personally felt a bit sluggish on the court”, Carambula continued. “But I am glad we got it done in two and I think in our next game we will play much better.”

The Italians were trailing four points in the middle of the first set, but levelled towards the end. They warded of one Latvian set point at 20-19 and at 20-20 Carambula decided to use his famous sky ball serve, which had already given them a 3-0 lead in the beginning of the set.

“I don’t think it was risky”, Carambula said. “I like feeling the pressure because it makes me perform a little better. It changed the game a little there and we gained some energy.” Ranghieri: “I always tell him if we don’t risk we don’t grow and if we don’t grow we don’t get happy.”

And it worked. Especially young Regza (23) had a hard time handling Carambula’s serve. After the Italians won the first set it was point-by-point in the second set, until they created a three-point gap on Ranghieri’s serve from 16-16. On their second match point Carambula scored the winner with an attack through the middle.

In the final they will meet up with the fourth seeded Mexicans for the first time on the FIVB World Tour. Carambula: “We watched them play. They play a good ball. A good match for the fans and we are coming to get the win.”

Mexico book easy win over Chile

Virgen and Ontiveros defeated fifth seeded Esteban and Marco Grimalt from Chile to reach their first final. It was a much clearer 2-0 (21-16, 21-18) win than the other semifinal. With high sets both Mexican players were able to hit the ball over Marco Grimalt’s block and they were leading throughout the whole match. It was their fourth win over the Chileans.

“It’s a team we play a lot during the year. In the Pan American and on the World Tour”, said Ontiveros, who is back on the Tour after he broke his left hand in September. “But we always try to do better and better against them because they are a tough team and you can lose easily.”

Like the Italians this will be Virgen and Ontiveros’ second World Tour medal. In May last year they won bronze in Puerto Vallarta.


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