Puerto Rico downs Costa Rica to remain undefeated
PINAR DEL RÍO, Cuba, June 7, 2018.-
Puerto Rico beat Costa Rica in straight sets 3-0 (25-17, 25-12,
25-12) to maintain its spotless record after three days in Sala
19 de Noviembre, the site for the Norceca Men's Challenger Cup
that will award a single ticket for the FIVB 2019 League of
Nations qualifying World Final.
The Puerto Ricans, perhaps overconfident of their early success,
started off out of focus and committed too many blunders, but
the waters took their true real level to make the victory
relatively easy and with the offensive contribution of the whole
side led by corner attacker Eddie Rivera and the opposite Pedro
Rosario, each with 9 points.
For Costa Rica, the player who added more units was the middle
blocker Jason Brown with a just 7 points.
The technical director of Puerto Rico, Manuel Acevedo, explained
that "today was the opposite to the previous two, we started
with a low level, so in the second set I did not use the bench
as I thought and I returned with regular starters for them to
show a better game, and then also the substitutes, even though
they need to correct some elements they kept the rhythm to be
able to go out through the wide door".
"We know that tomorrow against Cuba will be a difficult duel,
but I can see my boys motivated because we have achieved the
goal set before facing the home team, arriving without pressure
and we will consider a strategy and hopefully it plays out. The
most beneficial thing would have been to play Mexico before,
because they are superior than those we defeated, but
unfortunately they did not come."
Ramón Burgos, their captain, indicated that "we all had the
opportunity to play and we did well, however we have to keep
improving, especially for tomorrow's game against Cuba, which we
came to win in. In the transition to convert those points, in
front of the local rivals we have to defend and score, but happy
with the results so far we have to prepare, the host team has
strength, youth and a lot of power".
The coach of Costa Rica, Cuban José Enrique Pavón, confessed
that yesterday he was more satisfied with the work of his squad,
"although we are all aware of the ranking of Puerto Ricans. My
team did not perform at the level they are capable of. In the
first set the score was pretty evened until the 10th and from
then on they did not push enough for a more remarkable
performance, nor did they take advantage of the confidence the
rival showed entering to take the set from them"
His captain Andrés Araya pondered the power of the Puerto Rican
team, "despite the satisfaction for our performance is fine, we
did not go from less to more like yesterday, but there are also
factors that influence, for example, the serve varied
drastically from the first to the second set, they served
totally aggressive and that affected our reception and we could
not combine the attack, but the spirit of the team was perceived
as to keep fighting until the end".
Costa Rica tomorrow opens the program at 3:30 pm local time
against Guatemala and it closes with Cuba vs Puerto Rico (6:30
pm) in the most anticipated clash.