Moscow, Russia, August 9, 2018 – Alvaro Filho and Thiago Barbosa are having to get to know each other quickly as they compete for the first time together, at the FIVB Beach Volleyball World Tour Moscow 4-Star tournament.
The pair reached the main draw on Wednesday, but their appearance in pool play comes just days after both were preparing to return home following the Vienna 5-Star tournament.
Injuries to their partners – Saymon Santos and George Wanderley – opened a window of opportunity and without any hesitation they were on the way to Russia’s capital, where a 2-0 (21-19, 21-17) win over Denis Shekunov and Dmitrii Veretiuk sent them into the main draw.
“I wasn’t supposed to be here, but then I and Thiago had the chance to play here because both our teammates were injured,” Alvaro said.
“I was on the point of booking my flight home to Brazil and then Thiago pointed out that neither of us had a partner, so we thought ‘we’re two guys who want to play, so let’s go’.
“Yesterday (Tuesday) we arrived, talked about what we were going to do and did a little bit of training.”
Alvaro made his name as a junior when he and Vitor Felipe won FIVB Beach Volleyball U21 World Championships silvers in 2009 and 2010. He soon progressed to the senior ranks and in his first season he won silver at the Stare Jablonki 2013 FIVB Beach Volleyball World Championships, gold in Gstaad, and bronze in Moscow and Shanghai.
It isn’t the first time that he has had limited time to get to know his new partner. At the 2014 Stare Jablonki Grand Slam he and Pedro Solberg teamed up at the last minute and went all the way to the top of the podium.
“Sometimes it happens, and has happened twice for me,” Alvaro said. “The first time I played with Saymon in Brazil we won silver, and the first time I played with Pedro we won in Poland. Let’s see what is going to happen.
“It hasn’t been a good year for Brazil’s men’s sides, but they should improve as they are working hard. Next year we have the (Hamburg 2019) World Championships and Pan-American Games, plus there is the start of the road to Tokyo 2020. But this year isn’t over yet, so we’ll do our best.”
The Moscow 4-Star is the last 4-Star tournament in the 2017-18 season, and runs from August 8-12. The final tournament to take place is the Hamburg 2018 Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals presented by Vodafone that run from August 15-19.