Many upsets and no sets lost on way to Espinho semis

Espinho, Portugal, July 20, 2019 – Latvia’s Martins Plavins & Edgars Tocs will play against Brazil’s Alison Cerutti & Alvaro Morais Filhoin the first of Sunday’s men’s semifinals at the four-star Espinho stop on the 2019 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour. Then, Chile’s Marco Grimalt & Esteban Grimalt will challenge Brazil’s Andre Loyola Stein & George Souto Maior Wanderley for the remaining vacancy in the gold medal match. None of the four duos lost any sets in Saturday’s knockout stage of the tournament.

Seventh-seeded Andre & George were the first team to secure their spot in the semis. As winners of their pool on Friday, the Brazilians started Saturday’s playoff stage directly from the eighthfinals, where they managed a 2-0 (21-18, 21-13) shutout of Australia’s Maximilian Guehrer & Zachery Schubert. In the quarterfinals, they were even more emphatic against second-seeded Konstantin Semenov & Ilya Leshukov of Russia and mastered a 2-0 (21-14, 21-16) victory.

“We are very happy. I think it was a great day for us. We had two good matches. We played really well today. In spite of the sand that’s really deep here and the wind we managed to keep in good condition in the games," George commented. "We are really happy. This is our second semifinal together, so it’s really good. We get to play against the best four of the tournament, we get to be on TV, and especially we are here in Portugal, which feels like home for us, because it’s Brazil, but in Europe, and we have a lot of support from the fans here.”

Chile’s Grimalt cousins in action against Italy

All of the other three semifinalists emerged after winning three matches on Saturday and they all did so without dropping a set. The Grimalt cousins, seeded 18th in the main draw reach the round of 16 with a 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) win over Italy’s Andrea Abbiati & Tiziano Andreatta. Another straight-setter, 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) against USA’s Theodore Brunner & William Reid Priddy, propelled the Chileans to the quarterfinals, where they continued their impeccable run with a 2-0 (21-12, 22-20) victory over Canada’s Sam Pedlow & Sam Schachter.

12th-seeded Plavins & Tocs managed a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) victory over Brazilian wild cards Pedro Solberg & Vitor Goncalves Felipe. The Latvians followed it up with a 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) shutout of Spain’s Pablo Herrera Allepuz & Adrian Gavira Collado in the second round. In their quarterfinal, Plavins & Tocs cruised to an emphatic 2-0 (21-16, 21-13) win over another pair of Brazilian standouts, top-seeded Evandro Goncalves Oliveira Junior & Bruno Oscar Schmidt.

Brazil still managed to squeeze a second of their duos into the semis. 10th-seeded Alison Cerutti & Alvaro Morais Filho started their day with a 2-0 (21-15, 21-15) blowout of Jacob Gibb & Taylor Crabb. Then they delivered a 2-0 (21-18, 21-18) victory over the silver medallists of the World Championship, fifth-seeded Germans Julius Thole & Clemens Wickler. In their last step towards the semifinals, Alison & Alvaro Filho stunned third-seeded Italians Paolo Nicolai & Daniele Lupo on the way to a 2-0 (21-19, 21-14) win.

Alison spikes past Thole’s block

Sunday’s semifinals are set to start at 11:00 and 12:00 local time. The bronze medal match is scheduled at 16:00 and the gold medal final will begin at 17:15. All four games will be streamed live on the FIVB YouTube channel.


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