Dominican Republic advances to next round in Men’s Pan American
GATINEAU, Canada, July 27, 2017 -Dominican Republic advanced to next round in Men’s Pan American
Cup after a 3-1 (25-23, 17-25, 25-17 and 25-18) win over Mexico
in over one hour and a half at Gatineau’s Robert Guertin Arena
in Canada’s national capital region.
Awaiting their final placing after the Cuba-USA match, the
Caribbean squad has shown it can be a competitive side and is
looking for a place on the podium at this continental event for
the first time in five years.
Both teams started out evenly matched in the opening set, with
the Dominican Republic taking the first set 25-23, before Mexico
took advantage of their rivals’ mistakes in the second to even
the match after a 25-17 partial win.
The Dominican Republic regained their best level. With its three
key players Elvis Contrera, captain Wilfrido Hernandez and
opposite Pedro Garcia, they held off the Mexican challenge to
take the subsequent two sets and the victory.
Garcia, who sealed the win with a strong serve, led the
Caribbeans’ attack with 21 points. He was supported by Contrera
(16) and Hernandez (15). Ridl Garay and Gonzalo Ruiz each
contributed 11 to Mexico.
Orlando Samuel Blackwood, coach of the Dominican Republic: “In
the second set we didn’t play well at all – I really didn’t like
how my players were communicating with each other. But in the
end, they came back and managed to play well a certain times in
the match. I’m happy for the win today.”
Jorge Azair, coach of Mexico: “Dominican Republic is a classic
game within NORCECA. The game was really intense. My players
played better than yesterday, but I’m still disappointed we
don’t advance to the next round. We need to work on our blocks
and services essentially to qualify for World Championships.
Half of the team is pretty young so it’ll be a long process.
This tournament is a great experience for them.