Puerto Rico finishes fifth in Edmonton

EDMONTON, CANADA. Sept. 24, 2023:  Puerto Rico made a comeback to beat Dominican Republic today 3-2 (19-25, 15-25, 25-23, 25-17, 16-14) at the NORCECA Pan American Cup Men’s Final Six, September 19 to 24 at the Flair Airlines Hangar (Expo Centre), in Edmonton, Alberta.

This match determined fifth and sixth place of the tournament.

Dominican Republic led in attack points (66-62), blocking (15-9); Puerto Rico had one more ace (3-2) and gained more points from their opponent’s errors (26-21).

Outside hitter Klistan Lawrence led all scorers with 28 points for Puerto Rico. Team captain Gerson Ezequiel Toribio Martinez was top scorer for the Dominican Republic with 24 points. 

Sadly, the match was delayed with a serious injury to player Luis David Reinoso Soto of the Dominican Republic late in the fifth set. He was assessed and taken to a hospital and the match resumed.  

Gerardo de Jesus Sanchez, head coach of Puerto Rico: “I made some changes and brought in #4 Lorenzo Rivera, he’s the 17-year-old son of Victor Rivera who played for Puerto Rico’s national team, and that made a difference in our comeback. 

“I am very happy for my team, but I am also very sad about the injury of the Dominican player, which was very bad. It is not how we wanted to the tournament. The tournament was good experience for this young group, so I’m happy for that.” 

Klistan Lawrence, player from Puerto Rico: “I felt I could have been better today, but I’m very happy with the win for my team. We adjusted and played much better the third and fourth sets.”