Puerto Rico wins ticket to Semifinals defeating Colombia

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, July 30, 2018.- Puerto Rico won their ticket to semifinals defeating Colombia 3-0 (25-17, 26-24, 25-20) for pool B first position at the men’s volleyball tournament of the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games at Humberto Perea Coliseum.

Puerto Rico amazingly recovered from a 22-24 deficit, taking set two from the home team’s hands and that struggled to keep their powerful scoring streak.

Puerto Rico topped pool B with undefeated 3-0 record and Colombia will play quarterfinals against Venezuela.

Puerto Rico’s huge 10-0 advantage in blocking stopped Colombia’s 41-34 margin in kills. Puerto Rico also led 6-4 in aces and scored on 26 opponent errors, committing 16.

Opposite player Maurice Torres led Puerto Rico’s offense scoring 22 points on 16 kills, 2 blocks and 4 aces; wing spiker Sequiel Sanchez added 10 points to the winning cause. Liberman Agamez of Colombia scored 17 points including 16 kills.

Puerto Rico’s captain Angel Pérez was very excited “it was a good battle; we knew Colombia would come out stronger in the second set after losing the first. We lost our rhythm a bit in the second, I believe we were over confident, but three persons did an exceptional job blocking and Pablo Guzman, who’s serves in the end helped us win. A great defense from our libero who came off the bench was our weapon, the consistency and team effort; anyone can come out and do a great job at any moment. Thank God we are in semifinals, we can rest tomorrow. As you know we are coming from playing our national league, we are smashed, but we are here to give it all for our country, we just have to wait for our opponent and do a good job”.

Oswald Antonetti head coach of Puerto Rico said “our mojo is basically one day is one play, we respect the play. Tactically we had our ideas straight and I believe emotionally we had a cold head. For me, they have the best player in the tournament, Liberman is clearly a player with presence, and he has Colombia on his shoulders”. About their possible opponent, “the other group is the death group, they are all contenders for the title and my worry is on our side of the court”.

Juan Ambuila, captain of Colombia spoke about the second set “we were really focused, we worked hard by serving well first which we failed at in the first set, sadly we lost that set and from there the game. Tomorrow we will also do our best, we will improve our attitude and serves, we are going out to win”.

Coach of Colombia Eliseo Ramos considered their imprecision in passing made things rough “our setter did wrong, he should have had cold head and distribute the ball, and we had two failed passes and the second set got complicated. We have powerful spikers but our setters are are failing, limiting them. Puerto Rico performs well as a group, they execute complex one very well because they are effective receiving”.