Argentina wins Pan Am Cup Gold in five set thriller

CORDOBA, Mexico, September 2, 2018.- Argentina defeated Brazil in five thrilling sets (25-27, 25-17, 25-22, 25-27, 15-10) winning the championship match of the thirteenth Men’s Pan American Cup at the Arena Cordoba in Cordoba, Mexico.

Argentina won their second consecutive Pan American Cup title in a great duel against Brazil, battling every single point in the overtime match.

Argentina recovered from losing an intense first set moving all over the court with audacity in sets two and three, while Brazil had difficulties in reading Argentina’s strategy. It was in set four, when Brazil’s attackers got more involved offensively to beat their opponents’ defense. The winners led the tie-break from the beginning with an early 3-0 lead.

Both teams scored 71 points on kills and 4 points on aces; Argentina led only with slim 6-5 margin in blocks. Argentina’s victory came about by scoring fewer (23-34) unforced errors than Brazil.

Argentinean Ezequiel Palacios led all attackers with 21 points on 19 kills, one block and one ace; wing spiker Luciano Palonsky joined the winning effort with 19 points on 17 kills and 2 aces, followed by 17 points by wing spiker Nicolas Bruno and middle blocker Joaquin Gallego added 10 points.

On Brazil’s side, opposite Allan Souza tallied 19 points on 16 kills, two blocks and one ace, wing spkier Dantas Honorato scored 18 points on kills and middle blocker Flavio Gualberto chipped in with 11 points.

Luciano Palonsky of Argentina said “it was really difficult, we controlled it well. We´ve been preparing since the beginning of this year and our efforts paid off today, we are very happy. Good results (your future) must be built. Before facing Brazil, Palonsky said his team was prepared for a hard battle “Brazil has a great history; we knew it wouldn’t be easy”.

Head coach Alejandro Grossi of Argentina congratulated Brazil, the diference was slim, it was a good game and the crowd was spectacular “it’s really nice to play infront of a packed stadium and that everybody can enjoy”. He added “I am glad with my team´s performance the entire tournament, with many games. We are all intense; it’s a unique adrenaline which we also enjoy”. Grossi explained that Argentina has been working for many years “our project is collecting positive results, we won the under 23 World Championship and it’s now been reflected in our senior team, we are working with young talented players who may be prominent players in our senior teams just like Palosky and Nicolas Zerba”. 

Giovane Farinazzo head coach of Brazil indicated his team finished with too many errors “Argentina limited their errors; we paid a high Price for our mistakes at this level”. Both teams studied each other well “we were effective in the beginning, and Argentina was capable of changing their performance, their energy is strong, specially their setter; he was impressive, he’s one of the best I’ve ever seen. I congratulate Argentina; we did our best, but not enough”.