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Four teams made it through pool play Las Vegas Invitational in the Men’s Elite Division unbeaten. Germany, Northeast ODA, Denver 7s, and 1823 all won their three pool matches. Each of those teams had moments of clear dominance over the course of the day.
After their first win, Northeast ODA coach Josh Smith was “Glad to get the win. The error rate was a bit much.” Still, Smith expressed confidence in the squad. “We can play with anyone here. Today is about getting into a good position for the quarterfinals.” The Northeast ODA is a side that benefits from a strong organization around it, and is able to keep players from the Boston and New York areas working well together.
Despite the three wins, Denver coach Steve LaPorta was reserved in his comments. “So far, so good, but there’s lots of room for improvement. We need to get better at ball-in-air, restarts. Overall, fairly pleased.” LaPorta also mentioned the humbled attitude of the group, despite it also being a highly talented group. The Al-Jiboori brothers, Max de Achaval, and Aki Raymond all played well for Denver on Thursday.
1823 has a strong presence from the Ohio Aviators, including coach Paul Holmes, but ConRoy Smith also made himself impossible to miss. “My preparation was getting mentally ready and getting fit. If am able to be the finisher, then the guys will do the rest,” said Smith. According to Holmes, “We need to work on our discipline at the breakdown in terms of sticking to our structure and systems.” Speaking about players like Roland Suniula and Taylor Howden, Holmes commented in an understated way, “We have guys who know how to play the game.”
Australian side Tribe knocked off Serevi Selects in the last match of the day to claim Pool D. With Mike Palefau, Shalom Suniula, Peter Tiberio, and Psalm Wooching, there is plenty of talent in the Serevi side to cause trouble in the quarter finals.Along with the pool winners, Serevi, Borelli Walsh Selects, and the Selects are all through to the Cup quarterfinals tomorrow.
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