Back News




Dominicans beat Mexico 3-1 and advances to match for 5th place

GATNEAU, Canada, July 29, 2017 - The Dominican Republic beat Mexico 3-1 (24-26, 26-24, 25-19 and 25-20) for the second time in three days to advance to the match for the fifth place of the 12th Men’s Pan American Cup at Gatineau’s Robert Arena.

Both teams were set for a rematch two days after the Caribbean side won also in four sets. Both teams played evenly matched, but the Mexicans, with a great setting by Pedro Rangel, got the edge 26-24 in the opening set.

Both squads kept the score very close throughout the second set, with the Caribbean side leading 8-6 and 16-14 at the technical timeouts.  Left-handed player Ridl Garay’s spikes found room in the Dominican defense to move ahead 22-20, but the Dominicans fought back and tied at 23, before captain Wilfrido Hernandez and Jose Caceres’ attacks led them to win the set 26-24 to even the match.

Mario Frias, Elvis Contreras and Caceres kept the Caribbean team on top 8-5 early in the third set. Mexico’s Jorge Barajas caused some damage from the service line and narrowed the gap, before Contreras produced an ace to give his team 16-12 lead. They increased it to 19-14. Pedro Rangel and Gonzalo Ruiz kept Mexico in contention, but 2.10m tall Caceres responded again in the attack as Dominicans managed to take the set 25-19.

In the fourth set, both teams continued to exchange points. Jorge Barajas and Gabriel Cruz blocked the Dominican attack to take the upper hand 8-7 at the first technical timeout. Wilfredo Hernandez scored an ace and Contreras was again solid in the attack to bring the Caribbean side 16-12 ahead. Pablo Garcia joined them with solid spikes. Setter Francisco Abreu dumped the ball twice and Wilfrido Hernandez finished it off with a solid hit from the left angle.

Jose Caceres was the top scorer for the Dominican Republic with 16 points, followed by Elvis Contreras and Pedro Garcia with 14 each, and Wilfrido Hernandez (12). Gonzalo Ruiz led the Mexican offense with 14 points. Ridl Garay, Gabriel Cruz and Jorge Barajas each scored 10.

The Dominican Republic will play the winner of the Venezuela-USA match for the fifth place. The loser will take on Mexico for the seventh place.

Jorge Azair, head coach of Mexico: “We started well in the first set and we could have won the second. We have to improve our finish. We have struggled in that aspect this year. I would like to think it part of the transition with a new group of players. I would like to congratulate the Dominican Republic. WE will need to prepare for tomorrow’s game and more importantly the qualifiers for the World Championships.”

Orlando Samuel Blackwood, coach of the Dominican Republic: “It was a so-so match for us, my team is up and down; we need to be more consistent. Sometimes we play well and sometimes we don’t play well, but we managed to win in four and I’m happy about that.   It’s a very busy schedule – six games in a row, so the players are tired.  Now we must wait to see who wins between USA and Venezuela to see who we play.”