Guatemala debuts with straight set victory at AFECAVOL U23


GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, September 17, 2018. - Guatemala made a straight set debut 3-0 (25-21, 25-15, 25-18) over Panama at the fourth Men’s U23 AFECAVOL Central American Championship at Teodoro Palacios Flores Gymnasium in Guatemala City.


Host Guatemala earned five important points with a 1-0 record and Panama drops to 1-1 remaining with five points on day two of competition. It took time for Guatemala to overcome Panama’s blocking in the first set, to then move smoothly and with little complications to win.


Guatemala held 45-31 advantage in spikes, 8-5 in blocks and a slim 2-1 margin in aces. Guatemala committed 17 unforced errors and Panama a total of 20.


Opposite player Erick Flores of Guatemala led all scorers with 16 points on 12 kills, 3 blocks and one ace, followed by outside hitters Wagner Chacon and Carlos Lopez with 13 and 11 points respectively. Outside hitter Felix Williams scored 10 points on Panama’s side, and middle blocker Ludrik West and outside hitter Jose Soto contributed with 8 points apiece.


On Tuesday, Panama (1-1) will play to Honduras (2-0) and Guatemala (1-0) faces El Salvador (0-2).


Guatemalan captain Carlos Lopez said his team played with good rhythm “it was a good debut, it felt good and we played united. The team was strong and with confidence of what we were doing. Panama won many points because the play very high. We are aware we must face one match at a time. The tournament has just begun and we will be concentrated for what is yet to come”.


Cuban Reider Lucas, head coach of Guatemala said “my boys will adjust little by little into their rhythm as the competition progresses; we are the last team to perform in the tournament. Our goal was to win five points and my team looked well. We expect the players to make a better job with team effort, everybody comes well prepared and Panama showed it today”.


Ludrik West Panama’s captain indicated “in the beginning we played better, we played high and our blocks were more effective, we must keep it up the entire game, but Guatemala played fast. The team has to focus on the ball and not on our opponents”.


Horacio Angulo head coach of Panama said they aimed to use their best weapon, blocking, “we were able to stop Guatemala who played fast on zone two and in the third set their front attack by zone three damaged us. Both teams had good defense. Guatemala is a solid team and that has a lot of time playing together, different from ours, but we are trying to do things well; we will continue to battle strong, Panama can do it”.