BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The Coney Island Players / USHA Open singles Nationals Championship was underway earlier than the 8:30 a.m. start time on Saturday (Sept 26). New York’s weather cooperated allowing the tournament of 48 Open singles players and 9 Masters Doubles teams to finish in one day, with plenty of time to spare. Players came out in droves to support the first small ball tournament offered in New York, and knowing the event would also crown the USHA National Champion produced even more excitement. Tywan Cook, a two-time USHA Wallball Singles Champion (2015 & 2016) would emerge the winner, earning his first small ball National title with an impressive win over newcomer and Coney Island Players Championship MVP, Edwin Troncoso in the final, 25-5.
Tournament director Jared Vale congratulates the Men's Open finalists, Edwin Troncoso and Tywan Cook.
Cook’s “big game” experience and incredible stamina were the catalyst that propelled him to victory. Cooks traits paired with his devastating serves that pushed his opponents well off the court, offering easy returns that could be fly-killed to the opposite corners. That serve would help Cook plod through a tough slate of players in his bracket, defeating Franklin Vera, Jonathan Camacho, Tyree Bastidas, and Daniel Cordova.
Troncoso was the biggest surprise of the event, showcasing a natural athletic ability. In addition to beating Killian Carroll, the top-ranked four-wall player in the world, in the semifinals by a score of 25-22, Troncoso demonstrated an amazing comeback against last year’s CIPC winner Pee Wee Castro. Down 17-8, Edwin mustered up momentum to pull out the victory, 25-17.
Participants began showing up at 7:45 to check-in for the largest one-wall small ball tournament in recent times, for there chance at a share of $8,000 in prize money. Early rounds almost saw a few upsets with Ray Lu just falling short of upsetting Jurell Bastidas in the round of 16. With a lead of 18 – 12, Ray Lu had a few offensive chances and went for the ace serve, unfortunately serving our 3 times in a row. Jurell was able to capitalize on Lu’s mistake and push through to a 21-19 victory.
Among the participants were two of the WPH R48Pro four-wall tour top players, Killian Carroll and Daniel Cordova. With minimal experience in one wall, both players were successful making it to the quarterfinals. After a tremendous comeback and a controversial call, Killian Carroll fell just short of victory, losing to Troncoso.
The Masters Doubles bracket included a field of multiple national champions. The exciting finals between Joe Kaplan and Jai Ragoo vs. Robert Sostre and Peter Pelligrini looked like an early blow out for Ragoo and Kaplan, but ended up in a 25-23 victory for Kaplan and Ragoo.
|Masters Doubles finalists Robert Sostre, Pete Pelligrini join tournament director Jared Vale (center) with champions Joe Kaplan and Jai Ragoo.
The day was made possible by the generous support of Elliott Joseph, the USHA, Adam Gittlitz. Shentah (China) Pizzaro was a mastermind behind the desk, keeping matches moving and the tournament on schedule.
Due to the pandemic canceling the USHA Nationals in August, the USHA Executive Committee voted to have the CIPC Open Singles serve as the USHA National One-Wall Open Singles Championship. In a year yearning for positive news, the announcement increased participation and brought the handball community together.
See more information on the 2020 Coney Island Players Championship Facebook Event Page HERE.
CONEY ISLAND PLAYERS & USHA National One-Wall Open Singles Championships RESULTS (Players from New York unless noted):
First Round (48 Players): Yuber “Pee Wee” Castro, BYE; Jonathan Davila d. Arthur Sayed, 15; Edwin Troncoso d. Paul Angel, 13; Milton Jones, BYE; Alvaro Rebaza, BYE; Sheikh Hossain d. Adam Gittlitz, 10; Manny Sanchez d. Jeffrey Geraldo, 0; Carlin Rosa, BYE; William Polanco, BYE; Miguel Mendez d. Eliel Torres, 20; Eric Lee d. Isaiah Hong, 4; Billy O’Donnell, BYE; Andres “Play Station” Calle, BYE; Killian Carroll (Boston) d. Gabe, 10; Jonathan Milman d. Alfredo Figueroa, 4; Victor LoPierre, BYE; Jurell Bastidas, BYE; Ray Lui d. Anthony Delgado, 15; Daniel Cordova (Norcross, GA) d. Robert Goeffner, 15; Eddie Perez, BYE; Saul Gonzalez, BYE; Mohammed Shakoor d. Carlos Gonzalez, 15; Dan Pitre d. Jean Pierre Garcia, 2; Cesar Sala, BYE; Tywan Cook, BYE; Franklin Vera d. Mike Torres, 10; Isaac Caba d. Austin Quinones, 7; Jonathan Camacho, BYE; Isaac Acosta, BYE; Ariel Garcia d. Matt Chu, 6; Eugene Lau d. Jonathan Mantilla, 19; Tyree Bastidas, BYE.
Round of 32: Castro d. Tuti, 13; Troncoso d. Jones, 18; Rebaza d. Hossain, def.; Rosa d. Sanchez, 14; Polanco d. Mendez, 11; Lee d. O’Donnell, 20; Carroll d. Calle, 11; LoPierre d. Milman, 11; J. Bastidas d. Lui, 19; Cordova d. Perez, 6; Gonzalez d. Shakoor, 5; Sala d. Pitre, 11; Cook d. Vera, 5; Camacho d. Caba, 8; Acosta d. Garcia, 14; T. Bastidas d. Lau, 19.
Round of 16: Troncoso d. Castro, 17; Rebaza d. Rosa, 15; Polanco d. Lee, 7; Carroll d. LoPierre, 9; Cordova d. J. Bastidas, 14; Sala d. Gonzalez, 2; Cook d. Camacho, 17; T. Bastidas d. Acosta, 9.
Quarterfinals: Troncoso d. Rebaza, 18; Carroll d. Polanco, 19; Cordova d. Sala, 12; Cook d. T. Bastidas, 16.
Semifinals: Troncoso d. Carroll, 22; Cook d. Cordova, 16.
Final: Cook d. Troncoso, 5.