Defending champion Guatemala came out on top Nicaragua


GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, September 20, 2018. - Defending champion Guatemala came out on top Nicaragua 3-0 (26-24, 25-19, 25-10) in a clash of undefeated at the fourth Men’s U23 AFECAVOL Central American Championship being held at Teodoro Palacios Flores of Guatemala City.


The host and three times champion Guatemala is the only team that remains undefeated after five days of competition. Guatemala stands with prefect 4-0 record and perfect 20 points; Nicaragua is in second with 3-1 and 13 points.


Guatemala and Nicaragua engaged in a tough first set, with points going from one side to the other, but it was the home team that began on top thru their opponent errors. Nicaragua conceded more spaces allowing Guatemala to score in the middle and neutralizing their outside attackers with triple blocks. Finally, Guatemala had no difficulties in moving with character and huge advantage to remain undefeated.


Guatemala prevailed on 37-33 margin in kills, 10-5 in blocks and 3-1 in aces. Outside hitter Wagner Chacon scored 13 points as Guatemala’s leading attacker, joined by opposite Erick Flores with 10 points and middle blocker Edras Pineda tallied 10 points. Opposite Denis Garcia of Nicaragua scored a match-high of 15 points, while outside hitter Jonny Zeledon added 10 points.


On Friday, Guatemala (4-0) will face Honduras (2-2) and Nicaragua (3-1) meets Panama (3-2).

El central Edras Pineda de Guatemala dijo “Nicaragua es un equipo muy fuerte, nos dieron bastante lucha pero gracias al trabajo que venimos realizando pudimos sobresalir después de un primer set muy reñido. Ellos entraron con toda su potencia y nosotros pudimos ser más efectivos hasta el segundo set. El pase funcionó muy bien y el ataque por el centro fue efectivo. Físicamente nos sentimos bien, damos para más”.


Middle blocker Edras Pineda of Guatemala said “Nicaragua is a strong team, we had to fight them hard but thanks to the good work we have doing we prevailed after a very difficult first set. They began with all their strength and we were more effective up to the second set. Our passing turned out fine and our offensive in the middle was effective. Physically we felt well, we can do much more”.


Cuban Reider Lucas coach of Guatemala said the first set was really complicated “Nicaragua performed well at the beginning, they gave everything and there wasn’t much difference (it was point by point), we were lucky to win the first set. The team had good attitude and gave a good show. We were able to attack in the middle and had more possibilities to attack thru there. The boys did their job and finished the third set with huge advantage”.


Osman Hernandez head coach of Nicaragua expressed “in the end the team was desperate and we lost. We failed to win the first set because of two concentration errors, which made the difference. The team went on performing less effective and one of our best attackers seemed tired. Mentally the team came out short. Tomorrow’s game against Panama is crucial if we want to think about winning a medal”.