Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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Newgy Ohio Labor Day Open

By Blake Cottrell

Newgy Ohio Labor Day Open
September 2-3
Akron, Ohio
By Blake Cottrell

Antoine Bernadet Wins Newgy Ohio Labor Day Open, Sezer sets Record!!

Akron, Ohio was the host to National and former National team players from several nations over the Labor Day weekend. Samson Dubina, Sameh Awadallah, Youssef Chaloub, Fadi Kiwan, and Antoine Bernadet had all represented their countries at one time or another. Bernadet, from Quebec, Canada, came to the tournament in preparation for the Canada versus USA team match the following weekend with the winning team having the right to represent North America in the 2017 ITTF World Team Cup. Bernadet is one of three men’s team members representing Canada. He was also looking to win the $1,000 first prize in the Open singles in Akron.

A ten player round robin determined the winner of the Open event. With nine matches to play, each player faced a grueling path to the championship. In the end, the head to head tiebreaker between Antoine Bernadet and Sameh Awadallah gave Bernadet the championship with an 8–1 record. Awadallah also finished 8–1, but Antoine ground out a tough 3-2 victory over Sameh using a big forehand counterloop. Bernadet’s only loss came at the hands of Youssef Chaloub of Lebanon in another close 3-2 match. Chaloub finished at 7-2 in the round robin as did local favorite Samson Dubina. Samson won the tiebreaker for third due to his 3-2 victory over Youssef. Finishing just out of the money in fifth place was top Ohio junior Roger Liu with a record of 5-4. Bernadet celebrated his win by paying homage to Lebron James, a local hero, by performing Lebron’s “Silencer” moves after clinching his last win!

On Friday night, the Under 2600 event was played with Samson Dubina taking home first prize. Samson was at the top of his game with wins over Antoine Bernadet, Youssef Chaloub and Sameh Awadallah. Samson did not lose a match in the seven man giant round robin. Bernadet finished second in the event with Awadallah and Chaloub finishing third and fourth, respectively. Roger Liu, again, finished just out of the money, in fifth.
Alper Sezer, of Akron, Ohio set a USATT sanctioned tournament record by playing 25 matches on a single day. Alper played in three events, Under 1700, Under 1800, and Under 2000. He reached the finals in both the Under 1700 and the Under 1800 event. In baseball player Ernie Banks’ “let’s play two!” style, Alper just wanted to keep playing and not sit down. He attributed his stamina to “eating after every match and drinking a lot of water”. Alper also played 8 matches in the Under 1900 event the previous night, for a total of 33 matches in two days! Alper Sezer is the new Ironman of US table tennis.

Nicholas Snider of Cincinnati won the Under 2400 event over Ricky Vesel. Vesel also won the Under 220 event with Marijo Letic finishing second. Other winners included Arzan Varachhawala in the Under 2000 event, Scott Badillo in the Under 1900 and Jeremy Bernard in the Under 1800.

In the Under 800 event, recreational players were invited to sign up until close to the 5pm deadline in order to test their skills against more seasoned, trained players. Young Nilaksh Nagpure, who trains with Seth Pech, was the winner of the event. Nilaksh came in with a 640 rating and went 7-1 to win the event. Tina Nguyen of Columbus, Ohio finished second. Recreational player Steve Scarpino went 8-0 showing he had some skills, but was not eligible for awards as it was his first USATT sanctioned tournament. Next time Steve!
We would like to thank all the players that participated in the tournament and our sponsors including the Akron / Summit Visitors Convention Bureau, the Sports Alliance of Greater Akron, Wil-Cut Engineered Abrasive Solutions, Newgy Robo-Pong, Paddle Palace, and the Samson Dubina Table Tennis Academy. Our next tournament looks like it will be in March 2017. We hope to see you there!

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