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El Salvador wins Men’s AFECAVOL Bronze Medal

 

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, November 16, 2018.- Host El Salvador won the bronze medal in emotional 3-1 (25-22, 29-31, 25-18, 25-23) victory against Panama at the twentieth Men’s AFECAVOL Central American Championship that finished on Friday at FESAVOL gymnasium of San Salvador.

 

The bronze medal was decided up to the last match of the tournament; host El Salvador outnumbered Nicaragua in ranking points (16-13) as both finished with the same 3-3 win-loss record.

 

There was lots of excitement with the crowd’s involvement during El Salvador’s bronze medal win. The host executed their strategy from the start, taking Panama by surprise. In set two, Panama amazingly recovered from a seven point deficit (11-19) with a spectacular display by Libero Miguel Medina along with their well settled blocking, finishing with both teams failing consecutive serves for the dramatic 31-29.

 

The drama continued but El Salvador was the one to limit their errors. El Salvador held advantage in kills (48-46) and in aces (2-1), while Panama held 15-11 margin in blocks. El Salvador committed 32 errors and Panama a total of 43.

 

Both teams used a balanced offense. Outside hitters Rodrigo Chavez and Francisco Hernandez led El Salvador with 15 points apiece, followed by middle blocker Diego Guidos with 11 points. On Panama’s side, outside hitter Oswald Marshall led with 16 points, middle blocker Angel Beitia and opposite Otto Othon chipped in with 15 and 14 points accordingly.

 

Luis “Pinky” Flores, Libero of El Salvador said that generally speaking the team had difficulties performing at home “these are very young boys and it was hard to overcome the pressure. Today the team was looser, the fans were spectacular and I really enjoy playing at home. Panama is really tough, it was indredible how we lost the second set, we were mentally blocked. The team was committed to win the medal. I am retiring from the National team and I’m not empty handed”.

 

Panama’s coach Horacio Angulo expressed he was satisfied with his team’s performance “today the team was focused, the team finished the well. El Salvador is a team that has a lot of changes and they are well prepared, I tried to keep the rhythm. In comparison to other games, this was the best for us. My opposite player (Othon) has done a really good job and today the team supported more, it was a fine spectacle”.