Brazil wins dramatic semifinal to Puerto Rico at Pan Am Cup

CORDOBA, Mexico, September 1, 2018. - Brazil reached the title match of the thirteenth Men’s Pan American Cup after a dramatic victory over Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-27, 25-14, 25-20, 33-31) at the Arena Cordoba in Cordoba, Mexico.

Brazil will face Argentina in the gold medal match, a re-match of the 2015 edition in Reno, Nevada, where Brazil won their third title. Brazil has reached the title match in 2011, 2013 and 2015, winning in all three occasions.

In the semifinal match, Brazil closed in dramatic four sets, after missing four serves in a row in a nail biting finish. Puerto Rico’s undying will pressured Brazil’s offense but came off short to extend the actions to a tie-break.

Brazil led with a huge 16-5 margin in blocks and 58-48 in spikes, and took advantage of 37 Puerto Rico errors while committing 37. Puerto Rico led in aces 2-1.

Opposite Alan Souza impressed with a match-high of 26 points on 22 kills, 3 blocks and one ace match-point. Middle blocker Flavio Gualberto scored 16 points including 7 monster blocks and wing spiker Leonardo Nascimento added 12 points. Puerto Rico’s top scorer was wing spiker Eddie Rivera with 14 points, joined by opposite Maurice Torres with 10 points and middle blocker Jessie Colon with 9 points.

The leading scorer Alan Souza said “this victory is very important, it was a very difficult match and very tight; in the last set Puerto Rico’s serves really turned us upside down but we kept calm and we are very pleased to reach the final match”.

Head coach of Brazil Giovane Farinazzo thanked the fans and said “first I want to congratulate Puerto Rico for fighting every single point up to the end, they performed really well. I also congratulate my team because they stood up to the pressure and in the end we won. Now we will face a very tough opponent, Argentina, they are performing very well and we hope for a great spectacle tomorrow”.