Mexico Downs Guatemala to Reach NORCECA Semifinals


Colorado Springs, USA, August 30, 2012 - Mexico turned back Guatemala 25-23, 25-17, 25-23 in a NORCECA Men’s Junior Continental Championship quarterfinal round match on Thursday evening at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.


Mexico will now face Pool B winner Canada on Friday at 15:00, while Guatemala will face St. Vincent and the Grenadines on Friday in a Classification 5-8 match at 11:00.


Mexico had four players score in double-digit points led by Jesus Alberto Perales’ 14 points. Roberto Rincon and Sergio Perez added 12 points, followed by Jose Martinez with 11 points.


Gerardo Antonio Gonzalez led Guatemala with a match-high 24 points, while Elser Emanuel Franco De Paz added seven points.


Mexico held a 12-4 margin in blocks and a slim 3-1 ace advantage.


 “We knew it would be a tough match as Guatemala would not give up, so I congratulate them on the match tonight,” Mexico captain Jonathan Ponce said. “Tomorrow, Canada will be a really tough team with good blocking. It will be our hardest match of the tournament. I hope we can play the way we can.”


“Today was a very tough match because Guatemala plays every play and gives their all,” Mexico head coach Justo Arias said. “In the second set we made the pressure on the block and that was the difference. Tomorrow (against Canada) is not going to easy. If we use our combinations, we can win. Se we have to put pressure on their reception so we can make points. That will be the difference.”


“I think the match was very balanced,” Guatemala head coach Jorge Chavez said. “The only disadvantage was the height of my players. I think in the determining moments we needed to be calmer to fight back. Congratulations to my players because they followed the tactical instructions that were given. I think we are going to achieve more in the future and I am always proud of my players.”


“Congratulations to Mexico,” Guatemala captain Erick Noel Colindres Ipina said. “They made a good game. We came here doing our game, but Mexico always maintained the difference.”