Puerto Rican Rodriguez wins third gold in a row


BOCA CHICA, Dominican Republic, April 8, 2012 – Puerto Rico’s Roberto “Rafu” Rodriguez and Orlando Irizarry won an epic three-set battle against Canada’s Josh Binstock and Martin Reader 23-21, 16-21, 15-13 to claim the men’s gold medal of the Boca Chica Beach Volleyball Tournament presented by Presidente on Sunday.


It was the third victory in a row for Rodriguez who succeeded in the two previous events of the 2012 NORCECA Circuit at Cayman Islands and Guatemala playing along with Erick Haddock and Pablo Guzman respectively.


“It is a wonderful victory and it is the result of a very hard training,” Rodriguez said. “It is my third victory with a different partner but the four of us have been training together.”


“It is very difficult to say about who I prefer of the three,” he added. “It is a strategy of our technical directors in preparation for the Continental Cup when we have the chance to use combinations in case of a golden set.”


In the semifinal phase, Rodriguez/Irizarry beat Dominican Republic’s German Recio and Luis Adames 2-0 (21-18, 21-12) while Binstock/Reader needed three sets to overcome Puerto Rico’s Haddock and Guzman 2-1 (21-19, 18-21, 15-5).


The men’s bronze medal went to Guzman/Haddock who out dueled Recio/Adames in a three-setter of 55 minutes by score of 17-21, 21-17, 15-9.


Men’s semifinals: PUR-2 d. DOM 2-0 (21-18, 21-12), CAN d. PUR-1 2-1 (21-19, 18-21, 15-5). Bronze Medal Match: PUR-1 d. DOM 2-1 (17-21, 21-17, 15-9). Gold Medal Match: PUR-2 d. CAN 2-1 (23-21, 16-21, 15-13).