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Butterfly Puerto Rico Open: From the Lower Divisions

(by Steve Hopkins)

At the top of the 2022 Butterfly Puerto Rico Open Teams Tournament were some of the best players in the hemisphere – Zhou Xin and Brian Afanador and Adriana Diaz and Lily Zhang all competed in the top division (and all advanced to the Semifinals).

The tournament, however, extended out for six divisions and included a wide range of teams.  Nearly 100 teams, from Puerto Rico and the US and Guatemala and Sweden and Germany and Canada, with players of all ages.  There was great camaraderie within the venue as teams played in the same rows and could watch each other and cheer.  The five lower divisions were further separated into two round robins with the top teams playing in cross-overs on Sunday afternoon.

Division 2 went to Ededao 3. Division 3 went to Alamak (a team from Atlanta International Table Tennis Academy).  Division 4 went to Ponce Lions.  Division 5 was won by Starblazers.  And Division 6 went to Team Underdog (from MDTTC in Maryland).  Of the six divisions, 3 went to American Teams, and 3 went to Puerto Rican Teams.  Many of the Puerto Rican teams played at a higher level than their ratings.  Perhaps there was a home-court advantage, or perhaps the US Rating System used to seed the teams was much more accurate with the teams from the US and many of the players and teams from Puerto Rico were underrated.

Bowmar Sports (Butterfly North America) sent three teams.  Bowmar Sports 1 (Stephanie Sun, Estefania Ramirios, and Steve Hopkins) won 60% of their matches and finished in Division 2.  Bowmar Sports 2 (Howard Phillips, Greg Daniels, and Bowie Martin Jr.) finished in Division 3 and won 55% of their matches.  Bowmar Sports 3 (Jhon Mendoza, Logan Rietz, and Ricky Carter) also finished in Division 3.

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