Porec, Croatia, July 1, 2016 - While eight men’s teams were celebrating Porec Major pool play titles here Friday mid-day and another eight tandems were sent packing, the middle 16 pairs are scheduled to play grueling elimination matches in the heat on courts at three sites in the Croatian coastal resort town.
Three Brazilian pairs and two American duos finished atop their groups along with tandems from Canada, Latvia and Spain as the pool player winners were rewarded with “byes” for the first-round elimination along with being guaranteed a ninth in the second annual Porec Open.
The Brazilians were led by Rio-bound Olympians Alison Cerutti/Bruno Oscar Schmidt (Pool A) and Evandro Goncalves/Pedro Solberg (Pool G) along with the 22-year old sensations Saymon Barbosa Gustavo “Guto” Carvalhaes (Pool B). Alison and Bruno had to win their match Friday to win their pool with a 2-1 mark while the other two South American pairs were 3-0.
Despite losing 2-1 (12-21, 27-25, 15-9) in 49 minutes to Lombardo Ontiveros and Juan Virgen, Americans Phil Dalhausser and Nick Lucena captured Pool C with a 2-1 record and won the tie-breaker with a plus-31 point advantage as compared to the Mexican’s plus 4.
Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson secured the other American group title by winning Pool D with a 3-0 record. Both USA teams are headed to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games along with Ontiveros and Virgen. Dalhausser and Gibb will be competing in their third Summer Games with Patterson and the two Mexicans will be making their Olympic debuts in Rio.
Other teams winning pools were Ben Saxton/Chaim Schalk of Canada (Pool F), Aleksandrs Samoilovs/Janis Smedins of Latvia (Pool E) and Adrian Gavira/Pablo Herrera of Spain (Pool H). All three teams, who are headed to Copacabana for the Olympics, posted 3-0 match marks in group play.