Puerto Rico wins tie-break thriller in Pan Am opening match


COLIMA, Mexico, June 16, 2019. - The fourteenth Men’s Pan American Cup opened with a tie-break thriller win by Puerto Rico against Peru 3-2 (23-25, 24-26, 30-28, 25-19, 16-14) at the Multifunctional Auditorium in Colima, Mexico.


Puerto Rico came from behind to recover from losing two tough sets while struggling from Peru’s surprising velocity and force over the net.


Puerto Ricans blocks were responsible for their first win in pool B, by a comfortable 16-8 margin. Peru led in kills 68-64, as well as in serves 5-3. Puerto Rico committed a total of 34 errors and benefited from 31 opponent errors.


Wing spiker Kevin Lopez led Puerto Rico with 24 points including 20 kills and 2 aces, followed by middle blocker Pedro Nieves with 17 points including 6 monster blocks; while wing spiker Pelegrin Vargas and opposite Javier Rodriguez contributed with 14 points apiece.  On Peru’s side, wing spiker Alvaro Hidalgo scored a match-high with 28 points including 27 kills, opposite Eduardo Romay scored 19 points including 14 kills and 4 strong aces; wing spiker Daniel Porras scored 13 points and middle blocker Daniel Urueña added 11 points.


On day two of the event Puerto Rico (1-0) faces Trinidad and Tobago, while Peru (0-2) plays against host Mexico.




Pelegrin Vargas, captain Puerto Rico: “This is a step which started with many errors, repeated errors but we came out of the hole. We hope to get into our game rhythm to finish in the first two places of our group”.


Eduardo Romay, captain Peru: “Our game rhythm was solid, despite winning the first two, they were really hard. Our emotions in the third set were different than from the beginning, it was hard to recover. Peru needs more international exposure because we’ve been practicing hard for the past year and half, it’s frustrating to have lost”. 


Jamille Torres, Assistant coach Puerto Rico: “This is a young group and they were really anxious but still we were always close; we committed too many errors, which isn’t normal from them, they are conservative performers. Thanks to their good attitude we closed the match”.


Diego Recavarren, Assistant Coach Peru: “We didn’t know how to close, that’s why Puerto Rico improved. We lost velocity in the fourth set, with many errors after a really intense third set. The fifth set was point by point, I believe my team lost concentration after a bad referee call, but I am happy with my team’s development, they’ve evolved from last year”.