Porec, Croatia, June 29, 2017 - Croatian football star Ivan Perisic played his first international beach volleyball match here Thursday morning at the Swatch Porec Major with compatriot Niksa Dellorco as the host country pair were challenging Brazilians Saymon Barbosa and Alvaro Filho in a contest delayed by 12 hours due to heavy rains Wednesday.
Playing the top-seeded team in the event, Perisic and Niksa Dellorco dropped a 2-0 (21-10, 21-10) Pool A match to Saymon and Alvaro in 28 minutes before the side court crowd.
"It was an honour to play against one of the great footballers in the world," said the 26-year Alvaro, who was playing in his 50th FIVB World Tour event. "He is a great athlete and the big difference was his experience level in playing our sport. He's a competitive person and has shown that he has great athletic ability."
Perisic and the 25-year Dellorco, who was competing in only his third FIVB World Tour event, will play two more matches in the Porec Major against the American pairs of Theo Brunner/Casey Patterson and Taylor Crabb/Jake Gibb.
The Croatians are scheduled to play Brunner/Patterson Thursday evening before meeting Crabb/Gibb Friday to complete their Pool A schedule. The two American teams played each other Wednesday with Brunner and Patterson winning 2-0 (21-18, 21-17) in 36 minutes.