Mexico reaches Barranquilla Semifinals defeating Guatemala

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, July 31, 2018. - Mexico reached the men’s volleyball tournament semifinals after defeating Guatemala 3-0 (25-12, 25-15, 25-11) of the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central American and Caribbean Tournament at Humberto Perea Coliseum.

Mexico will face Puerto Rico in Wednesday’s semifinal match while Guatemala meets Dominican Republic in a classification match for 5-8 positions.

Mexico used their complete list of players controlling the actions with no resistance from Guatemala.  Mexico outnumbered Guatemala with huge advantage in every skill, with 36-18 in attacks, 16-2 in blocks and 7-2 in aces. Both teams scored 16 points on errors.

Opposite Daniel Vargas of Mexico led all scorers with 12 points including 10 kills and middle blocker Gabriel Cruz contributed with 10 points including 5 blocks. Guatemala’s top scorer was opposite Edgar Maldonado with 6 points.

Top scorer Daniel Vargas of Mexico explained “having played a very hard preliminary round helped us to feel confident on the court. We played a friendly series in Dominican Republic and one of the teams we faced was Guatemala so we know them well and we executed well. It will be tough facing Puerto Rico in semifinals, we also know each other well; in paper they are favorites but we come well prepared, our serves have been our strongest weapon here and we hope tomorrow as well”.

Jorge Azair Mexico’s coach said “fortunately we saw the opportunity to give some rest to our starting players who finished dehydrated yesterday. We have been watching videos to study Puerto Rico and we will make the final touch ups for tomorrow’s strategy. We know each other well also and it will be a very close match. I am sure of the job we did to be here and I know that my boys will come out strong”.

Edgar Maldonado of Guatemala indicated “we knew of Mexico’s strength and they didn’t allow us to execute because this was an important match. We tried to do our best, unfortunately it didn’t work. Nobody was hurt and we are ready for what’s ahead”.

Reider Lucas, coach of Guatemala said his team was aware of this difficult match, “my boys were too pressured, but we had the chance to give everyone some time to compete because we have two important matches left and we needed to try everybody. It didn’t turn out as expected, our rhythm was low as well as our attitude”.