Elite16 - Uberlandia, BRA - 2023 - Beach Pro Tour 2023 season - News

BPT Uberlandia - Men Main Draw - ITAvsESP_04

Gavira faces Ranghieri's block during their Pool D opener

One day after cruising through the qualifier of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Uberlândia Elite16, Spanish veterans Pablo Herrera and Adrián Gavira had a good start in the main draw of the event held at Praia Clube on Thursday.

The winners of last month’s La Paz Challenge won their opening match in Pool D and are one step closer to the elimination rounds in Brazil. The men’s tournament continues on Friday in Uberlândia with the conclusion of pool play and the first matches are scheduled for 8:00 local time (11:00 UTC).

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After victories over teams from Brazil and Argentina on Wednesday’s qualifier, the 40-year-old Herrera and the 35-year-old Gavira had their first encounter with a European duo in Uberlândia in their Pool D opener and, despite missing on a few opportunities of ending the match in the second set, the two managed to overcome Italians Adrian Carambula and Alex Ranghieri in the tie-breaker (21-14, 20-22, 15-7).

“I think we were able to build from the good performances we had in the qualifier,” Herrera commented. “We got a big win against a strong opponent, which had defeated us in the Doha Elite16. We’re happy that we could start the main draw with a victory and now we focus on tomorrow’s matches, which will also be very tough.”

In the other match of the pool, which was also decided in three sets, Dutch Steven van de Velde and Matthew Immers upset Brazilians Andre Loyola and George Wanderley 2-1 (19-21, 22-20, 15-12). The Spanish will face Dutch and Brazilians on Friday and will be vying for the top spot in the pool, which would send them directly to the quarterfinals in Uberlândia – teams that finish second and third in their pools need to play in the Round of 12.

“We’ll enter tomorrow’s matches with a lot of confidence and having one victory already helps a lot,” Gavira remarked. “I think the four teams in the pool are at a very similar level. Andre and George won the Itapema Challenge a few weeks ago and the Dutch are a very physical team. We’ll try to play in the same way we did today and will give all we have.”

Beach Pro Tour Uberlândia Elite16 – Match Schedule & Results

Pool C also had only two matches on Thursday and Germans Nils Ehlers and Clemens Wickler, tho topped Brazilians Vitor Felipe and Renato Lima 2-0 (21-17, 21-17), and Poles Michal Bryl and Bartosz Łosiak, who defeated Dutch Stefan Boermans and Yorick De Groot also in two sets (21-17, 22-20), were the first to collect victories.

In Pool A, where four matches were completed, reigning world and Olympic champions Anders Mol and Christian Sørum are in control after they secured back-to-back wins. The Norwegians topped Italians Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava in two sets (21-19, 21-15) in the morning and came back to the court in the afternoon to get another sweep (21-17, 22-20), this time against Czechs Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner.

Italians and Czechs both picked up victories over French qualifiers Rémi Bassereau and Julien Lyneel on Thursday and will play each other for the second spot in the pool on Friday while the Beach Volley Vikings complete their pool play schedule against the duo from France.

BPT Unerlandia - Men Main Draw - ITAvsNOR_12

Mol blocks Cottafava during pool play in Uberlândia

Pool B, which also had four matches played on Thursday, is wide open, with all four teams ending the day with one win and one loss. In the morning session, Swedish David Åhman and Jonatan Hellvig defeated Brazilians Pedro Solberg and Gustavo 'Guto' Carvalhaes 2-1 (21-18, 20-22, 15-8) and American qualifiers Tri Bourne and Chaim Schalk prevailed over Dutch Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen also in the tie-breaker (23-21, 20-22, 15-12).

In the afternoon, however, things changed with Brouwer and Meeuwsen bouncing back to beat Åhman and Hellvig in straight sets (22-20, 22-20) and Pedro and Guto pleasing the home fans with a 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 15-10) victory over Bourne and Schalk. The last round of pool play will have the Brazilians playing the Dutch and the Swedish duelling with the Americans.