Saturday, January 18, 2020

Manilla surprise semi-finalist at 2020 IRT Longhorn Open

Adam Manilla’s fine run of form continued Saturday at the International Racquetball Tour (IRT) 2020 Longhorn Open in Austin, Texas, as he defeated 11th seed Mario Mercado, 15-8, 15-9, in the quarterfinals. He’ll play his 1st IRT semi-final Saturday night against 7th seed Daniel De La Rosa, who was also a straight game winner. De La Rosa beat Eduardo Garay, 15-6, 15-8.

After his match, Manilla said he’s “feeling good.” He’s made a commitment to “playing the tour full time.” Manilla has been “working hard” and credited his coach Jim Winterton with helping him improve. He served well against Mercado, and said “drive serve is where it all starts.”

Mercardo was up 8-4 in game one, only to see Manilla score 11 unanswered points to snatch it from him, 15-8. With that momentum, Manilla went up 7-1 in game two - outscoring Mercado 18-1 over that stretch - and never trailed the game. Mercado got within one at 7-6 and 8-7, but Manilla stepped it up again and won game two 15-9.

The top half of the draw is business as usual, as IRT #1 Kane Waselenchuk will take on 4th seed Alvaro Beltran in the other semi-final. Waselenchuk defeated 8th seed Conrrado Moscoso, 15-4, 15-1, in the quarterfinals. But Moscoso hurt his left knee, when he was down 5-0 in game one, and he never played hard after that. It was surprising that Moscoso came out for game two, actually, because it really seemed that he shouldn’t be there. We’re uncertain of the extent of the injury, but we have to think that his participation in the next two events is in jeopardy, as they happen back to back on the next two weekends.

Beltran beat Samuel Murray in two long games, 15-11, 15-13, in the last quarterfinal of the day.

You can follow the Longhorn Open action via the usual IRT media outlets: The IRT YouTube channel or the IRT Facebook page. The semi-finals are at 7:35 and 8:35 PM Saturday, and the final at 12:30 PM Sunday. All times Central.

2020 IRT Longhorn Open, January 16-19, 2020
Austin, Texas

Quarterfinals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk d. 8) Conrrado Moscoso, 15-4, 15-1
4) Alvaro Beltran d. 5) Samuel Murray, 15-11, 15-13

Adam Manilla d. 11) Mario Mercado, 15-8, 15-9
7) Daniel De La Rosa d. Eduardo Garay, 15-6, 15-8

Semi-finals - Saturday

1) Kane Waselenchuk v. 4) Alvaro Beltran - 8:35 PM
7) Daniel De La Rosa v. Adam Manilla - 7:35 PM

Follow the bouncing ball….

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