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Northlakes and Tampa Bay Pickleball collaborate on Tampa Cup

Turns out that two locales might be better than one when it comes to a specific pickleball tournament.

With renovations under way at the Northlakes Sports Complex this summer — primarily building a roof over the six outdoor courts added last year — monthly tourneys at that Tampa location likely would have been canceled.

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Pickleball
Andrew Giancola and Connor Donovan teamed up to win a division title in a previous tournament at Northlakes.

Instead, Tampa Bay Pickleball in Oldsmar provided an option. The Tampa Cup took place at the air-conditioned indoor courts in May, and another tourney for players from Northlakes and elsewhere will be scheduled there later this summer.

“The collaboration between both places just allowed us to have more exposure,” Tampa Bay Pickleball co-owner and avid player Andrew Giancola said. “It really is fun to play pickleball at multiple places.”

Anthony Capri, Tampa Bay Pickleball’s general manager who also plays competitively, labeled the tourney as a win-win for both facilities.

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Pickleball
Anthony Capri, Tampa Bay Pickleball’s general manager, helped out tournament director Nick Valdez.

“It was great for both sides because we got a lot of players who never played here before,” Capri said. “We’ve had a lot of players that have come back.”

Nick Valdez, a recreation program supervisor in Hillsborough County who has run series at Northlakes since last September, noted there was some mixed feedback from relocating the tourneys until the roof is finished at Northlakes sometime in the fall.

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Pickleball
Mark Larson and Michael Bernaldo won the Seniors 55-plus title.

“It’s cool. There’s no heat,” he said of games at the indoor site, adding that “others are just used to the outside.”

Valdez, a former adult softball standout, has a unique concept for his tourneys. A regular season consists of four matches followed by a tourney at the end. He has adapted the format with no summer season and just a few tourneys scheduled at the Oldsmar facility.

“I played in Northlakes tournaments in the past,” Giancola said. “They’re well run and well organized.”

Photo courtesy of Tampa Bay Pickleball
John Day and Matt Sherman were silver medalists in the Seniors 55-plus division.

Now that there will be a roof at Northlakes, Valdez anticipates getting the other eight courts covered at some point down the line.

“That helps weather-wise because it’s so hot and it helps out with the rain,” he reasoned.

As for the Tampa Cup, there were three divisions with the top three duos in each earning medals. Results were as follows:

Seniors 55-plus — Gold, Mike Bernaldo and Mark Larson; Silver, John Day and Matt Sherman; Bronze, John Wagner and Bruce Jonas.

4.0 Open — Gold, Justin Grabski and Priyank Maiya; Silver, Brandon Lamacchio and Dilan Scargle; Bronze, Joseph Breese and William Nowottney.

3.5 Open — Jamil Price and Stuart Seultman; Silver, Diego Rodriguez and Ross Hopkins; Bronze, Coy Patterson and Alexander Rumak.


Times Total Media Correspondent

Photos courtesy of Tampa Bay Pickleball

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