03_BPT Rosarito - Men Main Draw QATvsPOL

Ahmed dives to make a dig in Rosarito

World ranking leaders Cherif Younousse and Ahmed Tijan of Qatar had their backs against the wall coming into their third pool play match in the Rosarito Elite 16 event of the Volleyball World Beach Pro Tour on Friday.

Following a straight-set (21-16, 25-23) upset to Polish Michal Bryl and Bartosz Losiak in the morning, the Tokyo Olympic bronze medallists needed a win against Austrians Robin Seidl and Philipp Waller to break pool in Mexico and they did just that, downing the Europeans in two sets (21-13, 21-16) and advancing to the quarterfinals, where they will meet Czech Olympians Ondrej Perusic and David Schweiner.

“It feels great to make it to the quarterfinals,” Cherif commented. “It’s the first event of the year for most of the teams here and it’s not easy to get our rhythm back. I feel like we haven’t been focused the entire time as we should and at this level, any mistake costs too much. We’re adjusting things match by match and now with the quarterfinals coming up, it gets even more serious and we’re going all in.”

Cherif/Ahmed vs. Seidl R./Waller - Match Highlights

Cherif and Ahmed finished second on Pool A, ranking behind Bryl and Losiak, the winners of last week’s Challenge tournament in Tlaxcala. The Polish completed their perfect pool play campaign with their third straight-set (21-15, 21-19) victory, this one against Brazilians Evandro Goncalves and Alvaro Filho. They will now face Italians Adrian Carambula and Enrico Rossi.

Brazilians Andre Loyola and George Wanderley dominated Pool C to finish first with a three-win campaign. The third-seeded were challenged twice on Friday and came from behind on both occasions to defeat Carambula and Rossi 2-1 (17-21, 21-16, 15-12) and Americans Theo Brunner and Chaim Schalk also in three sets (10-21, 21-15, 15-12). The South Americans will play against reigning Olympic champions Anders Mol and Christian Sorum of Norway in the quarterfinals.

01_BPT Rosarito - Men Main draw ITAvsBRA

George sets during one of the matches involving the Brazilians on Friday

Tokyo Olympians Carambula and Rossi advanced in second place after they prevailed in an all-European three-set (21-19, 17-21, 15-12) battle against Latvian veterans Aleksandrs Samoilovs and Janis Smedins.

Dutch veterans Alexander Brouwer and Robert Meeuwsen continued in great rhythm on Friday to win Pool B. One day after upsetting Mol and Sorum, the 2013 world champions pulled off a three-set (21-15, 27-29, 15-11) win against Americans Tri Bourne and Trevor Crabb to confirm their position as the top-placed team in the pool heading into the quarterfinals, where they will clash with Brazilians Alison Cerutti and Gustavo 'Guto' Carvalhaes.

Brouwer/Meeuwsen vs. Crabb Tr./Bourne - Match Highlights

Mol and Sorum came up big in their third pool match in Rosarito and also advanced by finishing second. The Norwegians started behind, but grinded to defeat Italians Paolo Nicolai and Samuele Cottafava 2-1 (20-22, 27-25, 15-7) and continue alive in the tournament.

Pool D had a brutal outcome, with three teams tying with two wins and a loss and just two moving forward to the quarterfinals in the tie-breakers. Perusic and Schweiner were first while Alison and Guto finished second, leaving Dutch Stefan Boermans and Yorick de Groot out of the elimination round.

07_BPT Rsarito - Men Main Draw CZEvsMEX

Perusic and Schweiner's victory against the Mexicans was instrumental for them to rank first in their pool

On the final day of pool play, the Czechs cruised past Mexican Olympians Jose Rubio and Josue Gaxiola to a straight-set (21-15, 21-17) win while the Dutch got the best of the Brazilians, taking them down also in two sets (21-16, 24-22).

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The quarterfinals will open Saturday’s schedule in Rosarito while the semifinals are scheduled for the afternoon and evening session in Mexico. The tournament medal matches will be played on Sunday.