Costa Rica silver medalist at Men’s AFECAVOL

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, November 15, 2018.- Costa Rica won the silver medal of the twentieth Men’s AFECAVOL Central American Championship finishing with a tie-break victory over Honduras 3-2 (27-25, 23-25, 22-25, 25-21, 17-15) at FESAVOL Gymnasium in San Salvador.

Before facing Honduras, Costa Rica had already pocketed the silver medal because Guatemala had previously beaten Panama in straight sets.

Costa Rica finishes the tournament with 5-1 win-loss record and a total of 23 ranking points; Honduras stands with 1-4 and 7 points, and they still face Nicaragua on the last day of competition.

Costa Rica was unsteady against Honduras the entire game and after losing the second set, Guatemala celebrated their second AFECAVOL title in row from the stands. In the first set Costa Rica recovered from a five point deficit (17-22) and in set two came out short with an impressive ten point deficit (4-14) to finish losing to a close 23-25 score. The match ended with no real excitement and points going from one side to the other.

Costa Rica held advantage in kills (59-42), in blocks (12-10) and in aces (5-3), allowing 56 points on errors while Honduras committed 38.

Outside hitter Alberto Blanco of Costa Rica scored a match-high of 24 points on 21 kills and 3 blocks, followed by opposite Ricky Vargas with 20 points on 17 kills and 3 aces; Gilberth Solano added 10 points. Outside hitter Fabrizzio Matamoros collected 20 points on 17 kills, 2 blocks and one ace for Honduras, accompanied by middle blocker Jose Reyes with 10 points.

Captain Alberto Blanco said they are all glad “mentally it was very hard, Honduras needed to win to fight for the bronze and on the other hand, we had the silver assured. At most we thought we could have won the bronze medal because we only had fifteen days of training and we are really excited to finish second”.

Coach Alberto Blanco Sánchez said the final balance is very positive “today we already knew that the silver medal was ours, we wanted to win and we also give opportunity to the future players of our team, we did a good job and we won. We are leaving something to build from, there is a lot of talent in Costa Rica, and it was a magnificent tournament”.

Cuban Juan Andrés León coach of Honduras said his team had a good performance with little preparation “we need more preparation games and training, for moments my players lost their position and despite of it all it was a really close match; I am pleased, the team has grown”.