Guatemala to play quarterfinals at Barranquilla CACG

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, July 30, 2018.- Guatemala moved to the quarterfinals at the men’s volleyball tournament of the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games after defeating Trinidad and Tobago 3-1 (25-22, 25-17, 22-25, 25-22) at Humberto Perea Coliseum.

Guatemala finished fourth place in pool B, with 1-2 record and will wait for their opponent in the quarterfinal round after pool A is completed.

Guatemala jumped to an early lead in the first set (11-8) that Trinidad and Tobago overcame with a spectacular effort to be in top in the second technical time-out; still Guatemala remained consistent taking the first and second sets.  Trinidad and Tobago worked hard, minimizing their scoring errors to extend Guatemala’s victory to a fourth set.

Guatemala capitalized on numerous and continuous opponent errors (18-36), as Trinidad and Tobago led in kills 55-49 and in blocking 12-7. Guatemala held a 5-1 margin in aces.

The Central American team balanced their offense between four players; wing spikers Jeyson Nery and Wagner Chacon led with 13 points each, while middle blocker Leonel Aragon and wing spiker Carlos Lopez collected 12 points apiece. Opposite Ryan Stewart of Trinidad and Tobago scored a match-high of 20 points on 17 kills and 3 blocks, joined by middle blocker Marc Honore with 18 points and wing spiker Randon Legall scored 13 points.

Carlos Lopez captain of Guatemala expressed “this was the match to win. Yesterday was harder but today’s result was more important because it moves us into quarterfinals. We were more united, we enjoyed ourselves more and we committed fewer receiving errors. We used several line-up variations and everything went well”.

Guatemala’s coach, Cuban Reider Lucas said to be satisfied “we prepared to get this result, all the teams here have good level, but this was the match we were aiming to win to advance to the next round. We let lose in the third set but we got back on track. We play (more-less) at the same game level and we hope to finish in a good position. We might face Mexico in quarterfinals, they are strong and a solid team”.

Captain of Trinidad and Tobago, Ryan Stewart said they always battle strong against Guatemala “the energy of the guys was much better in the third set and we performed more consistent, we had a slow start and actually we came from behind, trusting each other. Our errors in crucial times (like 19-20) cost us hard; those are the times you have to stay on top of the game to finish. Congrats to Guatemala, it was not the result we expected”.

Sean Morrison head coach of Trinidad and Tobago said their energy was too low, “I really don’t know why the energy was low; we didn’t play together as a team and that gave Guatemala the edge of us. Today wasn’t our day, Guatemala was consistent and kept pressuring us, and we kept pressuring ourselves. My guys couldn’t relax and committed too many errors by their own pressure. Guatemala did not score points; we gave the points to keep them in front. For us it’s another learning experience and I give props to Guatemala, they have remained consistent the whole season”.