Congratulations to Link and Pilipinas Bebots, AOUCC winners

Friday was qualifying for the Open’s and women’s divisions at WFDF Worlds 2010 in Prague. On the ladies side, Pilipinas Bebots, the home team, defeated China’s D-CUUP (China United Ultimate Party) 9-7 (video from their round-robin matchup here). This was followed by a scintillating finals between Link, from Japan, and the Boracay Dragons, the world-famous beach Ultimate team that can more than hold its own on grass.

Link, with nine active players, jumped out to a 10-5 lead before the one-point hard cap went on. The Japanese players then took turns cramping up in the stifling heat and removing themselves from the field while Boracay came storming back. It was 10-9 when Link scored, but by that time the tourney organizers had announced the game would go to 13. The Dragons, who in the semis erased a seemingly insurmountable deficit to beat the Flippers on Universe Point, built on the crowd’s energy, while Link faded before everyone’s eyes. The Japanese squad made it 12-10 before the Dragons took the next three.

While the Japanese players collapsed on the field from exhaustion and disappointment, several of them in tears, the tourney organizers made an announcement that because the game was capped at 11, and because Link got there first, Link was actually the winner. The last five points or so were just for show.

It took a few minutes before this fact settled in with the players, but when it did, the response it generated was so mixed that in the end all anyone can say was there really wasn’t a loser. Spectators poured onto the field to congratulate players from both sides, and when the day was done we were exhilarated by both what we had just seen and the prospect of a two-day tourney that would begin the next morning.

UPDATE: Videos here.


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