Spectacular save by Guto

Alison Cerutti and Gustavo Carvalhaes won both their matches on Thursday to become the first men’s pair to secure their advancement to the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Ostrava Elite16 quarterfinals. While the other Brazilian teams also emerged victorious from their first pool play games, one more duo, Norway’s Anders Mol and Christian Sorum also booked their spot among the best eight of the tournament.

· All the matches of the Ostrava Elite16 are available to watch live or on demand on Volleyball TV.

Alison and Guto overcame a solid obstacle to get their Pool B campaign underway. They battled it out for a tight 2-0 (27-25, 21-18) victory over Qatar’s Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan, seeded second in the main draw bracket. Then the Brazilians faced another powerful team, USA’s Trevor Crabb and Tri Bourne, but managed to get the job done in straight sets again, 2-0 (21-19, 21-10). Earlier in the day, the Americans came back from a set down to win against Estonia’s Kusti Nolvak and Mart Tiisaar and still have a shot at the other quarterfinal spot. They will have to fight for it on Friday in a direct duel with the Qataris, who also managed to defeat Nolvak and Tiisaar.

“Amazing! We had a great day, because we won two games against very strong opponents,” said Alison. “The best 16 teams in the world are competing here, so I am very happy. Now it is time to relax a little and tomorrow we have a match against Estonia.”

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A three-set battle between Mol and Sorum and Netherlands’ Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen highlighted Thursday’s action in Pool C. In their first matches, the Norwegians had shut out Austria’s Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller by 2-0 (21-17, 21-14) and the Dutch had claimed a 2-1 (17-21, 21-19, 15-9) comeback victory over USA’s Chaim Schalk and Theodore Brunner, so the two powerful teams locked horns to stay unbeaten. The titanic clash not only went to three, but the tie-breaker was pushed into overtime, before Mol and Sorum could rejoice with a 2-1 (19-21, 21-15, 18-16) comeback victory. The Vikings still had to wait for the outcome of the other game before they could punch their ticket to the quarterfinals. Seidl and Waller defeated Schalk and Brunner in three sets, 2-1 (21-16, 19-21, 15-10) to set up a direct duel with Brouwer and Meeuwsen for for the other last eight vacancy from the pool on Friday.

Renato Andrew and Vitor Felipe dropped a major upset of top-seeded home pair Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner in the first leg of Pool A. The Brazilians worked their way back from a set down against the Czechs to celebrate with a 2-1 (17-21, 21-17, 21-19) victory at the end of an extended tie-breaker. In the other pool match, bottom-seeded Spaniards Pablo Herrera and Adrian Gavira continued their winning ways from Wednesday’s qualifiers to produce a 2-0 (21-15, 21-14) shutout of Italy’s Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi.

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You can watch highlights on our YouTube channel & full matches on VBTV.

Only one leg of matches was played in Pool D too. Poland’s Michal Bryl and Bartosz Losiak and Italy’s Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava pushed their tie-breaker deep into overtime, before the Poles could celebrate with a 2-1 (21-13, 18-21, 23-21) victory. In the other game, fourth-seeded Andre Stein and George Wanderley of Brazil managed a 2-0 (21-17, 21-18) clean slate against the second home team, Jakub Sepka and Tomas Semerad.

The remaining 20 games of the men’s pool stage will take place on Friday, resuming at 11:10 local time. By the end of the competition day, all of Saturday’s quarterfinalists will have emerged.