Gibb/Patterson win blocking battle to claim Shanghai Grand Slam title

Updated: 2013-05-08 14:17


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SHANGHAI - Jake Gibb and Casey Patterson of the United States won an entertaining blocking battle against Brazil's Pedro Solberg Salgado/Bruno Oscar Schmidt in the final to claim their first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour title together at the Shanghai Grand Slam Saturday afternoon.

Playing in only their second tournament together, Gibb/Patterson held off Bruno/Pedro 21-16, 9-21 and 15-9 in 43 minutes to finish with a perfect 7-0 win-loss record in Shanghai.

Trailing by one set, Pedro/Bruno fought back strongly with improved defense in the second set for an amazing 14-4 lead on back of four blocking points from Pedro and never looked back.

It was hotly contested early in the third set before the Americans ran off six points in a row thanks to three straight stuffs by Gibb to make it 14-7. The Brazilian tandem withstood two match points, only to find Gibb convert on the third with his fifth block point in the set against Pedro.

Gibb/Patterson win blocking battle to claim Shanghai Grand Slam title

Jake Gibb, left, and Casey Patterson of the United States win their first gold at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour in Shanghai, May 4, 2013. [Photo/]

"Beyond excited! Amazing match! It was very windy so it was very hard to do anything, serve, side out, pass, set, so it was pretty much a survival match. Whoever can survive, who is going to win," said Patterson after taking his first FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour/Open gold medal.

"It's a match of big runs and we ended up getting the last big run, I think that's a big deal. In the first game we had a big run, and in the second game they had a big run. We were just taking turns and whoever survived the wind was going to win. Gibb did a couple of big blocks and I had a couple of digs in the end and that was the difference and it was crazy."

"This is only my second year playing in the World Tour and I have been prepared for things like this for a long time," he added.

Pedro/Bruno, who had defeated Ricardo Alex Costa Santos and Alvaro Morais Filho in an all-Brazilian semifinal to reach the final, were a little bit disappointed with their silver medal finish.

"We' re a little bit upset, we expected to play better today, but we didn' t play our best. We had a lot of up and downs," said Pedro, who was playing with Bruno in their second event together. "Actually  in this tournament we had a lot of up and downs, but still in the end we were good. But this game was our first bad tie break in the tournament and they deserved the win. Congratulations to them."

"For sure we would like to be here with the gold medal, but for sure it's a good start. They played better, even in these crazy winds," said Bruno.

Earlier on Saturday, Ricardo/Alvaro eased past Poland' s dark horses Michal Kadziola/Jakub Szalankiewicz 2-0 (21-12, 21-10) for their first medal together.

"It' s my first podium finish of FIVB. We are doing very good, " said Alvaro.  "Before this tournaments we had only one tournament to play in Brazil and we did not play very well. Ricardo and I are very much motivated and he is helping me a lot and I am learning too much from him."

Alvaro admitted he was under pressure to be the partner of the renowned Ricardo, but he was confident in himself and the  "father and son"  combination.

"At the beginning I was under a lot of pressure, everybody knows him and with all the partners he played he got too many good results. With me it can not be different," he said.  "I am too young, and I have to play a lot of tournaments to get experience. I think at the beginning I was anxious and nervous, but I am doing well, doing my job."

The $220,000 Shanghai Grand Slam, the first of a FIVB-record 10 Grand Slam events on the 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour calendar, will conclude on Sunday with the women' s semifinals and finals.

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