Puerto Rico Races Past Guatemala for 2-0 Mark


Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA (Aug. 28, 2012) – Puerto Rico moved to 2-0 in Pool B of the NORCECA Men’s Junior Continental Championship on Tuesday afternoon with a 25-20, 25-19, 25-20 victory over Guatemala at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.


Puerto Rico will battle Canada on Wednesday afternoon at 15:00 in a match of undefeated teams with the winner advancing directly to Friday’s semifinal round. Guatemala (0-2) will go for its first win of the tournament on Wednesday against Curacao at 11:00.


Puerto Rico had 11 of its 12 players score points, keyed by nine points each from Fabian Roehna and Pedro Fernandez. Pedro Nieves added eight points in the victory.


Guatemala’s Gerardo Gonzalez Paz scored a match-high 17 points, while Erick Noel Colindres Ipina added six points.


Puerto Rico managed a 7-1 advantage in aces to keep Guatemala off-balance on reception while adding a 12-3 margin in blocks.


Puerto Rico won a close 25-20 battle in the opening set thanks in part to a 4-1 block advantage and six points from Torres. Guatemala reached the first technical timeout of the second set leading 8-5, but Puerto Rico raced in front 17-11 on a 12-3 run en route to a 25-19 victory. Puerto Rico closed out the match with a 25-20 victory.


“Guatemala played a good match,” Puerto Rico head coach Ramon Hernandez said. “I am happy with the victory, happy that everyone got into the match and played well. I think we are improving every match, but I expect we will play better tomorrow versus Canada.”


“I think we can play at a higher level,” Puerto Rico captain Cristian Rivera said. “Guatemala played a good match tonight. I liked that we were able to player all our players and that will be beneficial for our depth later in this tournament. I look forward to playing Canada tomorrow and attempting to qualify first in the group.”


“I think this game was motivational for us, but the height of Puerto Rico was too much,” Guatemala head coach Jorge Chavez said. “Congratulations to Puerto Rico for a good match. I think we are going on the right track. I feel proud of our players and we hope to win tomorrow to pass to the playoffs. Hopefully in the future we can get taller players.”


“We are satisfied with what we did today, but we can do better,” Guatemala captain Erick Noel Colindres Ipina said. “Puerto Rico has a high level and is very good offensively. We hope to play better tomorrow and qualify for the higher classification.