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”.