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