Mexico claims Barranquilla Bronze Medal in spectacular comeback

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, August 2, 2018.- Mexico claimed the bronze medal in spectacular comeback over Cuba 3-2 (22-25, 20-25, 25-23, 25-22, 15-8) at the men’s volleyball tournament of the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games at Humberto Perea Coliseum.

Mexico won their sixth bronze medal in the history of the event, storming over Cuba while recovering from 0-2 set deficit, in a match that started with both teams performing every move with caution but good rhythm.

Mexico fell always a step behind in the first set and in set two they lost a 10-4 sizeable advantage to Cuba’s skillful attackers. Mexico increased their velocity only to unleash their character, holding off Cuban scorers. In the tie-break, Jorge Barajas took Mexico to a comfortable 4-0 advantage, which Cuba found difficult to recover from.  

Mexico’s tie-break victory came by a 70-53 margin in spikes; both teams scored on 14 blocks and 4 from the service line. Mexico handed out 33 points on errors and Cuba a total of 20.

Wing spiker Jorge Barjas led Mexico with 24 points including 20 kills and 3 aces, supported by opposite Daniel Vargas with 16 points including 15 kills and by wing spiker Julian Duarte scoring 13 points. Opposite Miguel Gutierrez led Cuba with 25 points including 20 kills and 3 aces, followed by wing spiker Marlon Yant with 15 points al on kills.

Mexican captain Pedro Rangel said his team was motivated to beat Cuba after losing to them in pool-play, “we were patient to comeback; we did not enter in despair and we performed calmly because we knew Cuba was coming in hard, they wanted to win in three sets. The first two sets were difficult but we were stronger in the third, we gained more confidence and began pushing with our serves. We changed our velocity constantly because attacking fast keeps our offense too low and against a tall team like Cuba you get in trouble, so we attacked higher”.

Jorge Azair, Mexico’s head coach expressed “we prepared well for this match; fortunately we recovered, our subs followed our instructions. Daniel Vargas got back in action, he was more settled and stronger; it was a team effort, my boys are warriors. My players have always known the must continue to battle no matter what the score is, today they applied this well.