Saturday, October 26, 2019

Portillo defeats Carson to reach 1st semi-final at 2019 IRT Arizona Pro-Am

Tenth seed Eduardo Portillo caused another upset at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) Arizona IRT Pro-Am in Tempe, Arizona, as the current International Racquetball Federation (IRF) World Junior Boy’s U18 Champion knocked off the IRT’s #2 player Rocky Carson in the quarterfinals, 15-10, 15-8. Portillo’s win puts him in the semi-finals for the 1st time. He’ll face 3rd seed Alejandro Landa, who was a winner over 6th seed Andree Parrilla, 15-3,15-7.

Carson got a good start against Portillo, as he led in game one, 8-4. But the young Mexican came back and tied the game at 10-10, and then pushed on and got the last five points to win game one, 15-10. Portillo's backhand pinch shots were great.

Portillo got the jump in game two, as he went out to a 9-3 lead using an effective Z serves to the left side, which is often what Carson serves. Carson did make it close at 12-8, but that was a much as he could muster, as Portillo went on to win 15-8.

If one rally described the match it came in the middle of game two, when Carson hit a ball close to the right wall that Portillo dove to pick up. However, his saving shot was weak, and Carson tried take advantage of Portillo being on the floor with an overhead shot standing in the service box, but he smashed it into the floor, gifting Portillo the rally. It was an example of how Carson was frustrated throughout the match, while the young Mexican was very composed, and fully deserving of the win.

Landa was a buzzsaw in game one of his match with Parrilla, who couldn’t get anything going. Parrilla was better in game two, but it was never going to be enough against Landa today. Landa versus Portillo will be an interesting match, as it pits a power player in Landa against a shooter in Portillo. But then Landa and Parrilla was the same kind of contest, which Landa had no trouble with, because for all his power, Landa can also be accurate.

The other semi-final will be a rematch of the US Open final from earlier this month, as IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk takes on 5th seed Conrrado Moscoso. Waselenchuk bested fellow Canadian Samuel Murray, 15-5, 15-4, in the quarters, while Moscoso needed three games to defeat Mexican veteran Alvaro Beltran, 15-10, 11-15, 11-3.

Look for all the Arizona action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The semi-finals are scheduled for 5 & 6 PM Saturday, and the final at noon Sunday. All times Mountain Standard Time.

2019 Arizona IRT Pro-Am, October 24-27, 2019
Tempe, Arizona

Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 8) Samuel Murray, 15-5, 15-4
5) Conrrado Moscoso d. 4) Alvaro Beltran, 15-10, 11-15, 11-3

3) Alejandro Landa d. 6) Andree Parrilla, 15-3,15-7
10) Eduardo Portillo d. 2) Rocky Carson, 15-10, 15-8

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 5) Conrrado Moscoso - 5 PM
3) Alejandro Landa v. 10) Eduardo Portillo - 4 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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