El Salvador earns first win in spectacular five-set comeback

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, September 20, 2018. - El Salvador earned their first win at the Men’s AFECAVOL U23 Central American Championship in spectacular five set comeback over Honduras 3-2 (19-25, 19-25, 25-19, 27-25, 15-11) at Teodoro Palacios Flores Gymnasium of Guatemala City.

El Salvador recovered from a 0-2 set deficit outblocking Honduras with a comfortable 14-8 margin improving their win-loss record to 1-4 and putting Honduras in a difficult position with 2-2 record.

Honduras edged El Salvador in the first two sets but always keeping them really close. In set three, El Salvador jumped to an impressive 12-2 lead, cracking out Honduras’ offensive line. El Salvador’s repeated their storming performance winning a thrilling fourth set and forcing the tie-break.

In spikes, both teams scored 53 points; El Salvador led in blocks 14-8 and Honduras in aces 2-0. El Salvador scored on 42 opponent errors while allowing 38 points.

Both teams used a balanced offense; El Salvador with outside hitter Josue Palma with a match-high of 18 points, followed by middle blocker Manuel Platero who scored 16 points including 5 monster blocks, middle blocker Eduardo Ramos joined the party with 12 points and middle blocker Aaron Arteaga added 10 points. For Honduras, outside hitter Arturo Duran finished with 16 points, middle blocker Irvin Reyes scored 13 points including 4 blocks, opposite Juan Menjivar also scored 13 points and outside hitter Jose Espinal chipped in with 10 points.

El Salvador (1-4) will rest on Friday and Honduras (2-2) will face the defending champion and host Guatemala (3-0).

Banner Godoy captain of El Salvador said “we had already committed every error possible after four losses, so today we decided it was going to be different, we were going to lose or win but with honor. We defended everything and the result was our victory, we had fun, we had confidence in each other and maybe this was the most important part of the game”.

Head coach Feridth Alabi of El Salvador said the difference today was that his guys wanted to win “the team’s attitude was that of winners and they followed instructions well. The communication was better, they played well and everyone supported the team, even the bench players; I am super satisfied”.  

Captain of Honduras Alejandro Avila said it was a tough duel “we won the first two sets following our coaches’ instructions and it was a good result. In the third set the team was conformist and the consequence was high. It’s a loss that puts us in a difficult ranking position”.

Cuban Juan Andrés León coach of Honduras indicated his team was pressured “they can’t put up with the pressure, and I don’t have a leader. Our opponent took advantage of our own pressure and won. This can be resolved only by playing more because we are well physically and technically well prepared; we have to compete because they were performing well and when they’re down they can’t respond; the psychological part is covered, we need more competition”.