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Mexicans Virgen/Ontiveros to play for gold medal in China

QINZHOU, China, October 14, 2017 – Fourth seeded Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros of Mexico reached the Finals of the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Qinzhou Open after beating top seeds Dries Koekelkoren and Tom van Walle of Belgium 2-0 (21-13, 21-19) on Saturday.

Virgen/Ontiveros will meet Russia’s 15th seeds Maxim Sivolap and Igor Velichko who upset third seeds Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez of Cuba 2-1 (21-18, 16-21, 15-10) to secure their first medal at a FIVB World Tour event.

“It was not easy. Maybe in the first set, it was rather manageable. In the second set, Belgium tried to fight back, while we became a little tired, but thankfully, with Lombardo's final point, we won the match,” said Virgen.

“It's really difficult, always, against Belgium,” Ontiveros echoed. “The semi-finals in the World Tour, in every stage, at one-star, two-star, three-star, are always difficult. You have to manage the pressure and just try to do what you have to do.”

After splitting the first two sets with the Cuban team, Sivolap/Velichko fell behind 3-0 in the third and deciding set and called a time-out. When the game resumed, they ran off four points in a row to overtake the lead at 4-3 and enlarged it to 9-6, a gap Nivaldo/ Gonzalez could never close.

Diaz/Gonzalez will play for the bronze medal against Koekelkoren/van Walle.