Thursday, May 12, 2016

2016 IRT Tournament of Champions - Preview

The ProKennex Tournament of Champions - this weekend’s International Racquetball Tour (IRT) stop - begins today in Portland, Oregon. In the last IRT event in Sarasota, Florida last month, IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk defaulted at the early in game five, as he seemed to still be feeling the effects of the emergency hernia surgery he had in March.

We’ll see how fit Waselenchuk is now, but we understand that the recovery time for hernia surgery is 4-8 weeks, so Waselenchuk was pushing the envelope when he competed in Florida. Waselenchuk was undoubtedly in better condition than the average person prior to the surgery, but he’s also making greater demands on his body than the average person, so he really needs to be fully recovered to perform high level racquetball. This is where there’s a difference between being fit and being match fit with the latter being in a state that high performance athletes, like Waselenchuk, are in when they are competing.

Daniel De La Rosa has moved into the #3 on the IRT, so he’s the 3rd seed this weekend, and could face #2 Rocky Carson in the semi-finals. Those two met in the Florida final, which was another epic five game match with Carson coming back from 0-2 down to win 3-2, giving him a measure of payback for the five game win De La Rosa had over Carson at last year’s US Open.

De La Rosa’s first opponent in the Round of 16 on Friday will be one of two veteran players: Cliff Swain or Hiroshi Shimizu. Their qualifying match will be an interesting one.

Another interesting qualifying match will be veteran left-hander Javier Moreno versus Fernando Rios. They faced off in the final of Men’s Doubles at this year’s Pan American Championship with Moreno and Alejandro Landa defeating Rios and Jose Daniel Ugalde, but it’ll be one on one Thursday in Portland with the winner to face Waselenchuk in the 16s on Friday.

The IRT Round of 16 will be streamed live Friday from 11 AM via the IRT Network with the quarterfinals Friday afternoon from 5 PM on. Also, the semi-finals will be 11 AM and Noon Saturday with the final Saturday night at 7:00 PM. All times Pacific.

2016 IRT ProKennex Tournament of Champions, May 12-15
Portland, Oregon

Qualifying Round 1 - Thursday

Tim Prigo v. Sunji Spencer

Qualifying Round 2 - Thursday

Q8) Javier Moreno v. Fernando Rios
Q1) Robert Collins v. Tim Prigo or Sunji Spencer

Q4) Scott McClellan v. Dane Elkins
Q5) Andree Parrilla v. Kamyron Meeks

Q6) Cliff Swain v. Hiroshi Shimizu
Q3) Matthew Majxner v. Farshid Guilak

Q2) Charlie Pratt v. Wayne Antone IV
Q7) Majeed Shahin v. Dylan Reid

Round of 16 - Friday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. Q8
8) Mario Mercado v. Q1

5) Jose Rojas v. Q4
4) Alvaro Beltran v. Q5

3) Daniel De La Rosa v. Q6
6) Jansen Allen v. Q3

7) Felipe Camacho v. Q2
2) Rocky Carson v. Q7

Follow the bouncing ball….

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