Puerto Rico wins the Gold Medal at CACG Barranquilla
BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, August 2, 2018.- Puerto Rico won the
Gold Medal match of the men’s volleyball tournament to Colombia
3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-14) at the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central
American and Caribbean Games at Humberto Perea Coliseum.
With a remarkable performance, Puerto Rico defeated host
Colombia for the gold medal with unbeaten record. This is Puerto
Rico’s fifth gold medal in the history of the event, having
played a total of nine title matches.
The host Colombia made a historic presentation while reaching
the Central American and Caribbean podium for the first time
ever, winning the silver medal.
Puerto Rico edged Colombia the entire first and third sets with
a sizeable advantage from the beginning. The winner’s strength
over the net by Sequiel Sanchez, Maurice Torres and Steven
Morales never seized, holding off Colombian figure Liberman
Agamez. Colombia had their momentum in the second set when subs
Alomia Carlos and Gustavo Larrahondo gave a fresh air to their
offense, stopping Puerto Rico only for a few moments.
Puerto Rico carried out advantage in every skill, with 36-32 in
spikes, 9-5 in blocks and 7-2 in aces; while limiting their
errors only to 10 points and scoring on 23 opponent errors.
Wing spiker Sequiel Sanchez led Puerto Rico with 15 points on 11
kills, 2 blocks and 2 aces; opposite Maurice Torres followed
with 14 points including 10 kills and 3 blocks, while middle
blocker Steven Morales registered 10 points.
Middle blocker Kevin Carabali
finished with 10 points.
Oswald Antonetti head coach of Puerto Rico “what’s important
here is that we represent the people of Puerto Rico that need a
little positive in our lives. The group showed maturity,
focused, very special that enjoyed the victory. Our key was the
balance that exists among the 14 players, everyone understands
their role. Angel Perez as emotional leader of the group and me,
they let me be part of this good atmosphere. It was very
symbolic and interesting prove that volleyball is alive in
Maurice Torres, one of Puerto Rico’s top scorers “it was a team
effort; last year we didn’t play like this. We took care of
every detail. I believe we did everything well, we set our
rhythm, we played our system and we had the support of all the
Puerto Rican fans here. We are taking gold home after a very
difficult year of natural disasters; it’s really special”.
Captain of Puerto Rico Angel Perez, who was feeling sick to
play, said “I trust the team completely, day by day has been
performed at our mode. The collective tops the individual. We’ve
had injuries, difficulties, and sickness, last night it was me
who got sick, God had a different plan for me. I am very proud
of how my team performed and despite watching from the bench, I
lived every single point just like I was there. As a team we
practiced only once, our first practice was here in Colombia,
meanwhile we’re coming from killing us at Puerto Rico’s national
league; seven from Guaynabo against four from Adjunta, eleven of
the fourteen are here but once we put on our national uniform,
all of that is set aside, I believe it speaks well of our
maturity as a team, the character that we’ve shown during the
competition. As the games went by we improved and for me this
was our best match of the tournament”.