Puerto Rico wins bronze and ticket to U21 World Championship

LIMA, Peru, May 11, 2019 - Puerto Rico qualified to the FIVB U21 Men's Volleyball World Championship after defeating Chile 3-0 (25-21, 25-17, 25-16) and winning the bronze medal of the age-group Pan American Cup.

The leading scorer Pedro Molina, carried Puerto Rico to victory by scoring a match-high 23 points, including 14 attacks, 7 aces and 2 blocks. Middle blocker Carlos Negrón, added 13 of his own, 9 attacks and 4 blocks.

The Chilean with the highest offensive output was wing spiker Vicente Ibarra with 13 points, followed by Vicente Mardones with 12.

Puerto Rico did a lot of damage with their services (10-3), and also had the superiority in attacks (37-28) and blocking (9-6). The unforced errors were similar: 17 the winner, 17 the loser.

Francisco Negrón, coach Puerto Rico: I take off my hat for the work that my boys did, each one made a great effort. Now we have to prepare very hard for what we will face in the World Championhip.

Pedro Molina, captain of Puerto Rico: Chile gave us a fight, but teamwork took us to victory. We were all well focused and we played with our hearts out, we had a clear goal and we knew we could not reduce the pace against the rival, we are very happy to take the medal and the ticket.

Vicente Ibarra, Chilean captain: We could not implement the proposed strategy. Chile went from less to more in this tournament and we certainly took an important learning experience that will serve a lot for the growth of this team.

The U21 World Championship will take place in Bahrain, which will host the event for the third time, having previously hosted it in 1987 and 1997.

Puerto Rico gets its first medal in a U21 Pan American Cup, joining those NORCECA teams already qualified to the World Cup, Cuba and Canada. The World Championship will be held from July 18 to July 27, 2019.