Friday, December 1, 2017

Round of 16 at the IRT John Pelham Memorial / ProKennex Tournament of Champions

Upsets continued in the Round of 16 Friday at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) John Pelham Memorial / ProKennex Tournament of Champions in Portland, Oregon, as three of the top four seeds went out. One of those upsets was by injury, as Kane Waselenchuk, the #1 IRT player, was a late withdrawal from the tournament, which was to the benefit of Adam Manilla, who got the forfeit win over Waselenchuk in the Round of 16. Manilla will play Mario Mercado in the quarterfinals, as Mercado defeated Robert Collins, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10, in the 16s.

Charles Pratt took out IRT #3 Alvaro Beltran, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8, and #4 Daniel De La Rosa suffered the same fate from the racquet of Tony Carson, who won their match, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7. Both Pratt and Carson are former top 10 players, so are not out of left field, but anytime you beat the #3 or #4 player, it’s a big win.

In the quarters, Pratt will play 5th seed Samuel Murray, who was straight game winner over Sunji Spencer, 11-1, 11-4, 11-3, while Carson faces 6th seed Jansen Allen, who beatJustus Benson, 11-2, 11-4, 11-4.

Jose Diaz was also an upset winner in the Round of 16, as he ousted 7th seed Felipe Camacho, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11. The win gets Diaz a showdown with the sole remaining top 4 player in the draw: Rocky Carson, as the IRT #2 beat Mauro Rojas, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6, in the 16s.

With the top half of the draw consisting of Mercado versus Manilla and Murray versus T. Carson, a first time finalist is guaranteed. Tony Carson has the most semi-final appearances of the four with 3 semis, while Manilla is playing in the quarterfinals for the first time. Mercado and Murray have both been in the semis once. On the bottom half of the draw, Allen has been a semi-finalist 5 times, Pratt 3 times, and Diaz is only playing his 4th quarterfinal.

In contrast, Rocky Carson has reached the semi-finals 156 times, going on to the finals 96 times (61.5%) and winning the final 25 times. If Vegas is setting a betting line on this tournament, Rocky Carson is the clear favourite.

The quarterfinals will be streamed live Friday afternoon from 5 PM via the IRT Network. The semi-finals will be Noon and 1 PM Saturday with the final Saturday night at 7:00 PM. All times Pacific.

2017 IRT John Pelham Memorial / ProKennex Tournament of Champions, November 30-December 2
Portland, Oregon

Round of 16 - Friday

Adam Manilla d. 1) Kane Waselenchuk, injury forfeit
8) Mario Mercado d. Robert Collins, 11-4, 11-7, 12-10

5) Samuel Murray d. Sunji Spencer, 11-1, 11-4, 11-3
Tony Carson d. 4) Daniel De La Rosa, 11-4, 11-4, 11-7

Charles Pratt d. 3) Alvaro Beltran, 11-8, 12-10, 11-8
6) Jansen Allen d. Justus Benson, 11-2, 11-4, 11-4

Jose Diaz d. 7) Felipe Camacho, 11-5, 9-11, 11-9, 13-11
2) Rocky Carson d. Mauro Rojas, 11-6, 11-6, 11-6

Quarterfinals - Friday

8) Mario Mercado v. Adam Manilla - 7 PM
Tony Carson v. 5) Samuel Murray - 8 PM

6) Jansen Allen v. Charles Pratt - 5 PM
2) Rocky Carson v. Jose Diaz - 6 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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