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Puerto Rico dominated Guatemala and added second win


PINAR DEL RÍO, Cuba, June 6, 2018.- The Puerto Rican national team defeated Guatemala 3-0 (25-11, 25-15, 25-21) for their second triumph in the  November 19 Arena, venue of the Norceca Men's Challenger Cup, which grants a place in the FIVB 2019 League of Nations qualifying World Final.


Once again the Puerto Ricans were pressed by their opponents late in the final set, but their mastery led them back to a victorious close, this time with an offense led by their corner attackers Eddie Rivera (15) and Josué Rivera (11) , top scorers of the match.


For the Central Americans the one who contributed the most was Carlos López (6), while Wagner Chacón and Edras Pineda each had 5 points.


Manuel Acevedo, Puerto Rican technical director, said that "it was a match where we had good level at the beginning, but in the second and third Guatemala lowered its errors, which were very high in the beginnings, and then they were better adversaries".


"In the second set in terms of character of the team the comeback after being down 2-6 was important and in the third I decided to give more work to the bench. It was complicated by a high level of blunders and the rivals were thrilled but at least the second group rotated well the match to close victorious."


Captain Ramón Burgos stated that "our team is improving in level, we are getting to know each other little by little, although we still have elements to fine tune, especially at the end of the games because we are making too many mistakes, but happy because the goal is to finish strong with the favorite team that is Cuba."


The coach of Guatemala, the Cuban Reider Lucas Mora, said that "today we saw a different team, more involved in the field and we gave participation to some players of the bench. Puerto Rico is very competitive and of good level of play, and that's good, although we always want to win at least a set, these are the only two games of the year, so we hope to continue improving in the next."


His captain Carlos Fernando Lopez indicated that "we started way out of focus and we continued with the problems in the reception, but as the match progressed we knew how to correct them, however we need to focus more and stabilize our game".


On Thursday at first hour (15:30) will play Costa Rica vs Puerto Rico and in the other match (18:30) Cuba vs Trinidad-Tobago. Guatemala had an off day.