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Costa Rica in difficult position beating Panama in five sets


MANAGUA, Nicaragua, December 13, 2017. - Costa Rica prevailed in 3-2(25-14, 25-16, 18-25, 20-25, 15-10) over Panama earning their second win to stand in a difficult position in the men’s Volleyball tournament of the 2017 Managua Central American Games.


Day four of competition kicked off with Costa Rica’s set back to a persistent group of Panamanian players. Costa Rica’s complications came with Panama’s comeback on line-up changes, using all their weapons to overcome their 0-2 set deficit.


Costa Rica is in a difficult position of reaching the podium with 2-2 win loss record and 8 points. This was Panama’s third consecutive match in five sets in four outings; to stand with 1-3 and 7 points.


Costa Rica did better in blocking (10-6) and Panama in attacking (42-40); both scored on two aces. The significant margin in error was crucial in Costa Rica’s second victory, while scoring on 51 opponent errors and finishing with 39 of their own.


Opposite Esteban Araya led Costa Rica on 14 points of 10 kills and 4 blocks, followed by outside hitters Alberto Blanco and Javier Alvarez with 13 and 12 points apiece. Outside hitter Oswald Marshall led Panama with 14 points all in kills.


Costa Rica’s (2-2) next opponent is El Salvador (2-0) and Panama (1-3) will play against Honduras (1-1).


Best scorer of Costa Rica Esteban Araya: “Our objective was to win in three sets. The younger players from Panama deserve credit because they fought strong; we lost confidence in our performance. We will continue working hard to win a medal, but we need to be effective in our next outings and wait for other’s results”.


Head coach of Costa Rica Juan Acuña: “Panama´s coach adjusted his line-up, they have played ten sets previously from this match and their experienced players weren’t executing well; they added more energy with their younger players. Panama finally gave in. Now we don’t depend only from our results but that of the others if we want to win the silver medal because Guatemala is likely to win the gold”.


Captain of Panama Domingo Avila: “My team is adjusting better and we’ve been working hard for the points. I believe we will finish well”.


Head coach of Panama Eugenio Ortiz: “Our game kicks in too late. We are having difficulties with our setters; they can’t find solutions during the game. We need to work harder with them y make new ones if we want good results. We have never practiced in the morning and we need more preparation”.