The U21 and U19 tournaments that are taking place at Praia da Ribeira, in Albufeira do Azibo, Macedo de Cavaleiros will enter tomorrow in a decisive phase with the semi-finals and finals to be played and which can be followed live through live stream and at the tv channel Bola TV.
And for the delight of the local public, four Portuguese teams will play for a place in the finals. On the U21 men’s event Francisco Pombeiro/Jose Jardim and on the U19, Barbara Freitas / Sara Lourenço, Joao Pedrosa / Joao Alves and Diogo Pereira / Bruno Santiago with the curiosity that the men’s team will play each other at 9h50 which guarantees from the start a place for Portugal in the U19 event.

Pombeiro/Jardim vs Bouter/Van Steenis and Gauthier-Rat/Loiseau vs Storh/Hams, the latter as the 2nd best ranked of the two groups are the U21 semi finals matches, which final will take place tomorrow at 16h50.
Before, it will be played the women semi finals that will put face to face the French Richard/Placette to the German Kozcian/Welsch and Chamreau/Lussom from France against Stubbe/Zwaanswijk from Netherlands, with both matches being played at 9h00. The final is scheduled for 15h00.

Francisco Pombeiro and Jose Jardim showed that their experience as a team in previous international competitions, such as the U19 World Championships, was well taken advantage off, having won by the maximum margin the matches against the teams from Spain, Huerta/Sanchez, and Netherlands, Penninga/Van der Ham, the latter one the players that won the U21 event, in Azibo.
“We are lucky to play together for several years and are very close friends. This is our fourth year as a team and I think that is a factor that give us an advantage regarding the other teams that switch players several times, providing us with positive influence”.

The win on the first match may be a good a foreshadow for these players path in the event.
“It’s always good to enter wining, since it give us even more confidence. Either in competitions where we play against players our own age or more experienced ones, we enter in the competition always with the perspective of evolving the maximum we can, to have fun doing what we like best, that is to play volleyball and what is our main pride, that is to represent Portugal. Afterwards, obviously, we want to win a competition”, highlighting: “This WEVZA tournament it’s very important for the players to gain competitive experience at international level and in this specific event, assumes even greater importance since from two weeks from now this same venue will host the U22 European Championships and we have the opportunity to prepare better and gain competitiveness against the other foreign teams”.

In the womens competition, the French Alexia Richard / Lezana Placette, created some buzz by qualifying for the U21 semi finals, after defeating, successively the Germans Bieneck-Nestler, the Portuguese Paquete-Coelho and the Dutch Stubbe-Zwaanswijk.
“It’s going as we wanted. We had the goal to advance from the Group phase and play for a place in the final. It’s being very good for us since we will play the U22 European Championships and will face some of the teams that are at this event. The level of this tournament seams good and it’s excellent for our preparation”
A big disappointment ended up by being the Spanish team Aida Etxebarria / Nerea Izaguirre, U21 champion in 2014 and that will play tomorrow against Vanessa Paquete / Gabriela Coelho one of the classification matches (5th – 8th place).
Regarding the local teams, Vanessa Paquete and Gabriela Coelho entered with left foot in the competition losing by 0-2 against the Dutch Stubbe and Zwaanswijk – and ended on an even worst note, because on the third and last match, they lost by forfeit (due to injury of Gabriela Coelho), against the German Bieneck and Nestler.
Mariana Maia and Francisca Silva will play tomorrow at 9h00, with Kozcian and Welsch, from Germany, the classification matches (5th to 8th places).

Portugal surprise in the U19

On the U19, Barbara Freitas and Sara Lourenço qualified for the semi finals by securing the 2nd place in Group A, with 2-0 win against the Spanish Soler/Perez and a defeat (1-2) from the German Körtzinger and Seeber.
The young Portuguese players are confident for tomorrow matches, in which they’ll play in the semi finals, the Germans Lena Günther and Andrea Harbring.

Julia Gaspar and Margarida Vasques will play tomorrow the match for the 5th and 6th places against Soler and Perez from Spain.

In the men’s event Joao Pedrosa and Joao Alves will face their countrymen and friends Diogo Pereira and Bruno Santiago, which will guarantee from the start a place in the final for Portugal.
After securing the first place in Group A, with victories only, Diogo and Bruno only have a command word: “win”.