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Austrians reign in Nuvali world beach volley

MANILA, Philippines — Austria’s Robin Seidl and Moritz Pristauz drubbed Australia’s Thomas Hodges and Zachery Schubert, 21-18, 21-16, to rule the men’s division of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour Challenge on Sunday night at the world-class Nuvali Sand Courts in Santa Rosa City.

The world No. 27 Austrian pair capped an amazing run with only a single set yielded through six games to hoist the trophy heading into the grand finals next week in Doha, Qatar.

Pristauz fired 15 points on seven hits, six blocks and two aces while Seidl uncorked 13 points on 12 attacks and a block as the Austrians annexed their third medal in the Pro Tour.

The Austrian tandem finished with a bronze medal in the La Paz Challenge in Mexico and topped the Goa Challenge in India before trooping to Santa Rosa, Laguna for the biggest beach volleyball event ever hosted by the Philippines behind the leadership of Philippine National Volleyball Federation president Ramon “Tats” Suzara.

Seidl and Pristauz absorbed their lone set defeat against the world No. 37 duo of Joao Pedrosa and Hugo Campos of Portugal in the quarterfinals, 15-21, 21-17, 15-10.

Since then, the fancied Austrian bets were not to be denied in their march to the throne by making short work of world No. 44 Javier and Joaquin Bello, 21-13, 22-20, of England, in the semifinals.

World No. 13 Hodges and Schubert hammered 16 and 11 points, respectively, in a silver-medal finish after besting world No. 11 Patrikas Stankevicius and Audrius Knasas of Lithuania, 21-16, 19-21, 15-13.