Congratulations to Big Brother, winner of Tianjin Open

For more pictures, etc., see the Beijing Ultimate blog.

Beijing Big Brother sent split squads to Tianjin Open over the weekend, with both teams winning every pool-play game and facing one another in the Saturday crossover. Big Brother Ugly went up a break on Sexy in an upwind-downwind game, only to see Sexy come back to take half 6-5. Ugly, however, scored upwind to tie, then downwind — after a Micah layout D — to win 7-6.

On Sunday in the semis, Sexy defeated Tianjin Speed (which had lost to Ugly 11-4) while Sexy defeated Beijing Bang 13-1. The finals, however, were postponed due to a wind storm, with an exhibition game to 5 after the wind subsided slightly.

Beijing Big Brother also won the party, themed “Rainbow.” Matt Mueller was the MVP, with Kevin Reitz coming a close second.

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.

Congratulations to Tianjin Speed Yellow, winners of China Open!

It’s possible China Nationals 2010 will be remembered as a tournament of firsts: the first time observers were used in China Ultimate (and maybe all of Asia Ultimate, excluding Japan), the first time a World Cup-style draw was used to determine pools on the day before games, and importantly, the first time team from Tianjin — Speed Yellow — two-time bridesmaids but never the bride, won. They did so in convincing fashion.

Drawn into the toughest pool — with No. 3 overall seed Graduates, Air Woo and CUG Prospectors — Speed won their first two pool games 11-2 and 10-6. Then in an epic game for Saturday standards vs. Graduates, Speed prevailed 11-8 to secure the No. 3 seed going into Sunday.

Speed ran through Ningbo, then obliterated 2009 runner-up Beijing Bang 13-4 in the semifinals. They would go up 10-2 vs. Hong Kong in the finals before Junk went on a 5-1 run to make it 11-7. Tianjin used a timeout to regroup, then traded scores with Hong Kong and would score another — the final point — on a simple 15-yard pass. In a game that had its share of highlights, this was quite the conventional ending — final score: 13-8.

Afterwards Edward Wang, one of the original Tianjin Speed players who was present when the team lost in the finals against Air Kazak in both 2007 and 2008, nearly got emotional celebrating the victory. He was hoisted into the air by teammates, as were others, including the only foreigner on the team, Jeff. There was no doubt who was the best team at the end of the day, and the scary part for the rest of the country: they’re only getting better. Watch out.

Congratulations should also go out to Michael Hsu’s Hong Kong Junk, which defended its 2009 championship valiantly and refused to roll over in the finals. No doubt they’ll be back next year.

On Sunday:

Crossovers:

Tianjin Speed Red 8, Air Woo 5
Graduates 11, Yangtze Dragons 6
Hangtime 9, Dalian Smurfs 5
Ningbo 11, Changsha City Storm 5

Quarterfinals:

(1) Hong Kong 11, (8) TJ Speed Red 3
(5) Graduates 11, (4) Air Kazak 2
(3) TJ Speed Yellow 11, (6) Ningbo UFO 6
(2) Beijing Bang 11, (7) Hangtime 2

Semifinals:

(1) Hong Kong 11, (5) Graduates 9
(3) TJ Speed Yellow 13, (2) Bang 4

Finals:

TJ Speed Yellow 13, Hong Kong 8

13th place bracket:

CUG Prospectors 11, Tangshan 1
Beijing Bang Bang 9, Tongzhou 7-Up 4

CUG 9, Bang Bang 5

Picture by Dean of CUG Prospectors

Congratulations to Big Brother, winners of Tianjin Open 2010


Tianjin Open 2010

Big Brother finally made it over the hump. After years of near-wins and bad losses — too many to list here — Beijing’s top club team overcame a slow start at the Tianjin tournament this past weekend and eked out two-point wins in both the semis and finals to earn the “Novo Nordisk” Cup.


Full disclosure: I played on Big Brother.

In the semifinals, Shanghai Huwa scored the first point on a trademark huck from Alec to Nads and added an early break to make it 3-1. Beijing scored four of the next five, including a quick Zone O score coming out of halftime to make it 7-4. Shanghai, as Shanghai does, earned two of those points back before a pivotal huck from Tao to Shan — a diving O-I flick with Alec in hot pursuit, set up by a forehand break from Kevin — would give Big Brother some breathing room. The teams traded points the rest of the way, from 8-7 to 11-9. On the final point, Kevin contested a Judd stall count, then dumped to Tao, who found Pat Li hanging out in the end zone on the force side.

The finals was a rematch of a Saturday group game in which Tianjin Speed shocked everyone with an 11-9 upset of Big Brother. From the onset, Speed, which beat Beijing Bang 11-3 in the semis, came with their attacking, blitzkrieg offense for a quick and easy score. The crowd went wild. Big Brother fought back and tied the game but soon found themselves huffing for air against the younger, more athletic Speed. The hosts soon made it 5-3 after a nasty collision that left one of Big Brother’s better defenders, Caleb Heine, bleeding from his right ear and incapacitated for the rest of the game (“I know now what the saying ‘getting the snot knocked out of you means,'” he would say afterwards).

Somehow, this would key Big Brother’s rally. The team scored three straight, anchored by a zone D. On one point, Alicia Lui, playing strong wing, stepped in front of a guy and caught a D before quickly throwing the score to Shan Wu. Tianjin surged back for two straight to take half 7-6.

Big Brother received to open the second half and scored to tie it at 7. Speed would go up 8-7, scoring after the game got testy near the end zone with two near-Ds that were nulled by contested calls. Then Tao kicked into gear, with a catch-score of a huck from Kevin to tie the game, then another catch off a transition D — again from a Kevin huck, this time backhand — to make it 9-8.

Soft cap would go on, making it a game to 11. Speed drove the length of the field with their patented offense before putting up a swilly, hospital pass on which one of their women called a foul. When the disc went back, the thrower called a timeout, a violation and, according to the rules, a turnover because cap had been called.

Off this opportunity, Kevin threw a backhand break to Tao, who broke the mark with a high-release that Sandy brought down to make it 10-8.

Speed quickly came back and broke Beijing’s zone, scoring on the weak side to make it 10-9. “They’re here to win it,” someone remarked. But so was Beijing. After a few turnovers from both sides — Big Brother’s Shan got a monster D of a hammer in the end zone, with a guy bearing down on her — Kevin forehand-hucked to Tao for the game-winning point.

The tournament awarded Sandy Wang the team MVP, though this could have gone to any of Big Brother’s females. Below, pictures of the other team MVPs, presented by tournament director Edward Wang:

It should also be noted that Big Brother, thanks in large to co-captain Gareth Marshall (who re-aggravated a hamstring injury on the first point on the first day and did not play the rest of the weekend), Baby Girl and Matt Mueller.

More pictures and a video to come.

Videos from Tianjin Richie

Anyone who’s been around China Ultimate long enough has probably turned up in a Balance Wang video at one time or another, but recent conjugal obligations have kept Balance and his trusty camera away from the Ultimate scene. Could Tianjin’s Richie be a replacement?

Judging by these videos… maybe. He’s got a bit of catching up to do, but this is a good start.

Shanghai 2008, Shanghai vs. Freakshow

Tianjin news report about Ultimate

Here’s a video from the March Tianjin tournament. Richie’s Youku profile, with all his videos, is here.

Introducing: Ultiverse

Not sure how we missed this, but the UltiVerse (now on the blogroll) ran a podcast last November featuring Beijing Ultimate’s Andrew Shen and Zahlen Titcomb and Tianjin Ultimate’s Edward Wang.

In the spirit of better-late-than-never, here is that episode.

Though technically this site isn’t responsible for having missed that show when it aired, as we had yet to exist.

The teams of China Ultimate





Most of these jerseys created by Five Ultimate

The champions (from Perkin Chai’s album)