2016 Nationals Weekend
Christian Filippella took the honors of the 2016 ASA National Open Championship, and the 2016 US FISTF International Open, August 6 & 7 in Columbia, MD.
Twenty three players competed in the National Championships. Filippella moved smoothly through his group, and increased his level of play as needed until he fittingly met his most significant challenge from a determined Daniel Cranston. Michael Tillman and Paul O’Donovan Rossa made fine runs to the semi final stage. By his own admission, Cranston started off with some below par defensive flicks in the Open final. The precision of Filippella was rewarded, and a 3-1 victory was comfortable and well deserved.
In the Veterans category there were several strong candidates to win. Old rivals Gregg Deinhart and Paul Eyes would meet in one semi final, with Deinhart winning 2-1 in regulation thanks to a controlled and focused performance. The semi final between Dario Passadore and Ilias Gikas went to overtime, with Passadore scoring a dramatic winner in overtime to progress.
The final was a clash of styles between the speedy and dangerous Passadore, and the patient build up play of Deinhart. Deinhart won the title with a fine shot in overtime to win 2-1.
The weekend also saw the return of a U19 competition for the first time since 2012, with Grant Lilly defeating Joey Peters 1-0 to win the event, and the traditional Sunday FISTF event with 19 players. The high level of play by Cranston and Filippella was again met with little resistance until they met in the final. Varant Kurkeyerian would scare Cranston in the Quarter Finals with a narrow 0-1 loss in a fine performance. Passadore continued his playing progression by reaching the semi finals, and Patrick Sheridan had his best performance of the weekend before running into Cranston in the semis. The final game was a closer affair than the Saturday match. Filippella maintained his exceptional level, but Cranston raised his level of play from Saturday to give a more satisfying performance. The final score of 2-0 to Filippella was reflective of a high level game.