Shanghai Open according to a Sunken Pleasure player

Editor’s note: The following is reproduced in its entirety from Facebook without permission from the author… I hope Ping doesn’t mind, because this deserves to be shared.

2010 SHANGHAI OPEN: UP Sunken Pleasure’s Road to the Finals

By: Ping Bautista aka Pingles aka 平格斯

This year’s Shanghai Open was one of the best international tournaments that I have ever been too and for 2 reasons:

1.)    Tournament Venue and Food – the fields were just awesome (See pictures below. I just love Astro-Turf!!!) and the food was the best food I have ever had during a tournament. Overflowing San Miguel Beer was offered during the finals also. Although the tournament kit didn’t have a jersey or even sun block like we do here in Manila, they did give out some sweet discs and even Huwa Visor Caps.

2.)    Tournament Skill Level – I know that Shanghai caters to the best and most competitive teams in the Asian Ultimate scene (maybe even better than Spirits I might say). But what was really nice to see was that there were more Asians coming out to play than expats. It was a great sight to see that we are slowly catching up to our American and Japanese friends. ☺
So here is a brief rundown of what happened over there. I won’t describe the parties anymore cause of lack of memory on what went down (all I remember was seeing a lot of ass…). Enjoy ☺

DAY 1

Sunken Pleasure’s first day in the tournament went really well. They made quick work on the first three teams they faced (Hong Kong Junk, Shanghai B and last year Singapore Open Rivals, Disc Knights) reaching the point cap of 11 on all games. Everything seemed to be going the way of our nations only representative in this year’s Shanghai Open until they hit a wall and a very hard one at that… KOREA.
Korea had been very silent over the past few Asian tournaments and now they were carrying with them a whole new roster of fresh college graduate ultimate players. With an average height of at least 5’11 and their girls as tall as Heyman. SP had a really difficult time keeping up with this fresh young Korean Team (nowhere near the KUNT [Korean Ultimate National Team] that we have seen). SP ended day 1 second on their pool earning a 1 game bye coming into Day 2.

DAY 2

In the quarter – finals, our boys and Girls in Orange and White went up against their Chinese counter parts, a Chinese Sports University Team named Speed who was Champion in the league that finished just before this Tournament. Speed was composed of college students with an average age of 19 years old, who had only been playing ultimate for around 6 months and was very physical in their play (and had little or no English skills at all), which resulted in a lot of calls and a lot of flying elbows. But SP made quick work of them reaching the point cap of 11. Spirit however was practiced throughout the entire game and SP even gained new fan base in China. (see attached photo and video).

After a quick interview and autograph signing with Xtian (again watch attached picture video), SP went head to head against Shanghai Huwa in what I am proud to say was one of the best semi finals game I have ever had the privilege in seeing live. The game started of with Huwa going up 3 points playing some sick zone defense and pegging SP at 4 points at the half of 7. After a really great pep talk given by Christian, SP rallied and made a 6 – 1 against Huwa who just couldn’t seal the holes that the poppers of SP used to move the disc up and score point after point after point. The defensive game of SP was also tremendous. Their man – to – man defense was super tight resulting in numerous lay out Ds and even a near Callahan point by Boracay Import Dada (who by the way made some of the sickest pulls in the entire tournament).

Huwa however wasn’t going to go down without a fight. They were able to make a slow comeback and scored 4 more points to make it to eleven. That our very own Kat Velayo who made one of the sickest lay out grabs made eleventh point possible (Great Job Kat!). In the end however, SP made history by defeating Huwa on home court for the first time ever 13 -11. Tears of joy and sadness started coming out of both parties as they huddled up and learned some sad and happy news (the departure of Milan and Sherrie from Shanghai and the discovery of the pregnancy of another Huwa player. I think her name started with either a P or an S. Either way she still played even if she was in her 3rd month).

On the other semi finals game, Korea made quick work of Beijing Big Brother and ended the game at 4 – 13. Mind you all 4 points Big Brother was able to come up with were huck throws made by either Jim or Joe to Gareth. So as I sat down on my seat with a Coleman full of beer I asked myself “Does SP have what it takes to defeat this new powerhouse Korean team?” The sidelines were all cheering for SP as they stepped out on the pitch and drew first blood scoring the first point of the game with a point cap at 15. What followed was a tennis match that led to a Korean huck fest. SP did however make some tremendous Ds and there was even a very questionable call on a should be Callahan grab made by Panoy against one of the Korean players (I swear Panoy grabbed it before he did and it wasn’t a strip). Then the worst thing happened; Team Captain Xtian pulled his hamstring. Korea reached the half first at I think was 8 – 4. With the absence of Xtian on the field, the newest members of the team started stepping up and tried to claw their way back against Korea. By the time Xtian was able to play again it was too late. The momentum had already taken the side of the Korea who ended the game at 15 – 10.

The awarding session took place immediately afterwards and I am not sure who won Mythical 7 but what I do know is that SP’s very own Chlods was able to bag Female MVP while one of the newest players of Korea, Adam (aka yellow hat guy) bagged Male MVP. SP went home with Silver and the respect of the entire South East Asian Ultimate Community being the only all Asian team to make it this far in the Finals against a very expat based Korean team (who had one or two Koreans on their roster).

SP had accomplished so much during this tournament and proved that the Philippines is one of if not THE leader in Development in Ultimate in South East Asia. Not only did season veterans like Mang Danny, Cherry, Xtian and Panoy show that they still had what it takes to make it to the finals, but the young bloods like Heyman, Dada, Pat, Marin, Jamel, Chlods, Jenny and Karen who had led SP into back to back championships in the last two local leagues, showed that Ultimate was indeed growing in our country. But what I admired the most with this SP team was how they treated each other like a family, like brothers and sisters all looking out for one another and following one voice, never arguing and never complaining. This trait I believe is the secret to this clubs success both locally and internationally.
My hat goes off you Sunken Pleasure. You guys have truly out done yourselves and have made your nation proud. Once again you have placed us on the SEA Ultimate Map as being one of the powerhouse club teams in the region. But the question still remains; who will match up to the new Korean team? Only time can tell. Next stop for SP is Malaysia where they plan on continuing to dominate the Asian Tournaments and finally SPIRITS in November. I look forward to seeing you guys play in the future.

Cheers!

Congratulations to Korea KUNT, winners of Shanghai Open 2010

Rumors had circulated for months that something was brewing on the Korean peninsula, but few could have expected KUNT (Korea Ultimate National Team) to arrive on the mainland and destroy all-comers like they did over the weekend. Employing a U.S.-style offense and an aggressive D, Korea beat Southwest China in Sunday quarters, 11-7, then Beijing Big Brother in semis, 13-4, and finally Philippines Sunken Pleasure, 15-9, to win the 8th annual Shanghai Open tournament.

Korea’s Gina, possibly the best female player at the tournament, was selected onto the Mythical Seven all-star team, while “yellow-cap guy,” i.e. Adam, won male MVP. Solid performances from Dave and Clay also paced the squad, which will be continue being a force to reckon with in Asia Ultimate.

Sunken Pleasure made finals by beating Shanghai Huwa 11-9 in a well-played semifinals.

Quarterfinal teams were Hong Kong Junk, Shiock (which took one-seed Huwa to Universe Point), Tianjin Speed (broke seed… big time) and Southwest China.

Congratulations also go out to tournament organizers Glenn, Alec, Nads, Robin and everyone else who helped out. Great job once again.