One month after competing at the Michael Lipov Memorial Cup in Chicago, our men’s team attended the first edition of the Texas Cup in Dallas. This tournament, co-organized by Dallas THC and Houston Handball Firehawks, was another opportunity to play competitive games against some of the top teams in the nation.
The first day couldn’t be better! SF CalHeat consecutively beat Air Force (28:24), Dallas (22:19) and Houston II (22:6) to finish first in the group. Our team clearly dominated the round robin and managed to rotate the roster to keep the team fresh for the championship games.
The semifinal between Houston I and SF CalHeat saw a rematch of the last year’s Cal Cup final. Despite the early morning schedule, both teams battled hard in one of the best games of the tournament. SF CalHeat took a 5-goals lead at half time (12:7) thanks to multiple fast breaks. The second half saw the Texans coming back to a 1-goal game a couple minutes before the end. But CalHeat stayed calm and focused and brilliantly qualified for the final, end result 24:21.
In the final CalHeat had the opportunity to rematch against Chicago. While their last confrontation turned in favor of the team from the Midwest (34:23, semifinal Michael L. Memorial Cup), this game was completely different. CalHeat debuted strong, with a very strict defense on Eloy Rubio. The team played as one and ended the first half with a 5-goals lead (13:8). In the second half, our team kept up with the tempo but lacked the energy to maintain the well deserved gap from the first half. Chicago equalized 2 minutes before the end, 20:20, and took a surprising lead and victory in the crunch time (20:22).
Our men’s team fought hard and demonstrated an excellent performance throughout the weekend. With this second place, the team got awarded with 6 additional points in the wild card race for the Elite Nationals. Now, it’s time for recovery before starting the preparation for the upcoming California Cup (Jan 26-28, 2018). One thing is sure, our men’s team has only one thing in mind: the title!