Guatemala retains AFECAVOL U23 title with one match left

GUATEMALA CITY, Guatemala, September 21, 2018. - Guatemala retained the Men’s U23 AFECAVOL Central American title with still one match left after defeating Honduras 3-0 (25-17, 25-14, 25-17) at Teodoro Palacios Flores Gymnasium in Guatemala City.

Host Guatemala earned their fifth consecutive win accumulating 25 ranking points inaccessible for any other opponent, even losing to Costa Rica in their last match in the tournament. Guatemala wins their fourth consecutive title, in the same number of editions of the event.

It was a well disputed first set up to the second technical timeout as Honduras’ blocking offense stopped Guatemala from moving forward easily. It was a matter of time for Guatemala to edge Honduras unleashing their fullest of abilities and becoming four-time champions.

Guatemala held advantage in kills with 33-22 margin; they also outblocked with 11-7 and led in aces 3-1. Guatemala scored on 28 opponent errors while limiting theirs to 18.

Once again Guatemala finished with a balanced offense among middle blocker Edras Pineda with 12 points including 5 monster blocks, outside hitter Wagner Chacon recorded 11 point and opposite Erick Flores scored 10 points all on kills. Honduras top scorer was outside hitter Arturo Duran with 7 points.

On the last day of competition, Honduras (2-3) faces Nicaragua (3-2) both still have a shot to reach the podium. 

Carlos Lopez captain of Guatemala indicated “we are glad, with one match left we are already champions. We want to enjoy this moment, we are very happy to be four-time champions. Our character and attitude allowed us to get into rhythm, playing together. Tomorrow it will be a difficult match against Costa Rica and we hope to finish with a victory”.

Head coach of Guatemala, Cuban Reider Lucas was very emotional “it’s hard work, the team gave everything, the result turned out well and I congratulate them, it’s a really good thing”.

Captain of Honduras Alejandro Avila said they were prepared for one of the toughest games of the tournament “nevertheless we enjoyed ourselves, the first and third sets we pressured strong up to point 16; we committed some collective errors that we lost concentration. We fought strong with good attitude”.

Cuban Juan Andrés León, coach of Honduras said they still can win a medal “technically speaking the team knows how to play, the problem is that they put too much pressure on themselves and they lose concentration, they don´t know what to do, just like today. The team needs a leader on the court. It’s a phenomenon that can be solved competing more and going out our zone to play”.