CALI, Colombia, November 28, 2021. - Colombia
beat Puerto Rico 3-2 (20-25, 25-22, 25-23,
22-25, 15-7) to face Brazil in semifinals at the
Men’s volleyball tournament of the I Junior Pan
American Games Cali-Valle 2021 at Evangelista
Colombia bounced back from losing the first set
with a dominant display in attacks in a neck to
neck battle that finished in a tie-break win for
the final spot in the semifinal round.
The host Colombia finished second in pool A with
2-1 record and Puerto Rico third to play for
fifth place against Dominican Republic.
Colombia held a slim 61-60 advantage in attacks,
11-10 margin in blocks, 6-4 in serves and
committed one less error (28-29) than Puerto
Colombian outside hitters Leiner Aponza and
Carlos Llanos scored 25 and 24 points
respectively; opposite hitter Miguel Angel
Martínez added 16 points. Outside hitter and
captain Pedro Molina led Puerto Rico with 20
points, outside hitter Diego Negron added 19
points, middle blocker Jamal Ellis registered 15
points including the most blocks with 7 points
and middle blocker Antonio Elias contributed
with 11 points.
Leiner Aponza, top scorer of Colombia:
“It was a fierce win; we fought well to achieve
it. Our team had little time together to prepare
and reaching the semifinals proves what we are
capable for men’s volleyball in Colombia. We
lose focus when are celebrations aren´t euphoric
and we have our heads down”.
Diego Negron, outside hitter of Puerto Rico:
“It was a balanced match, it was decided in two
or three point well played by Colombia and from
our side we lacked effort in those points. It
was a great battle and I am proud of my team”.