Guatemala Keeps Hopes of Fifth Place Alive with Victory
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado, September 30, 2017 – Guatemala made
some key substitutions and came back to defeat Costa Rica,
20-25, 25-21, 25-17, 25-15 at the NORCECA Men’s Continental
Championship on Saturday at the U.S. Olympic Training Center.
Guatemala will play the winner of the match between Martinique
and Trinidad & Tobago for fifth place on Sunday. The winner of
that match will qualify for the next world championship
After losing the first set, Guatemala substituted setter Adan
Ruano for Gerardo Gonzalez and its offense improved.
Guatemala led Costa Rica in spikes (54-37) and blocks (13-6).
The teams tied in aces (3-3). Costa Rica scored 32 points on
Guatemala’s errors while committing 25.
Guatemala opposite Erik Flores led all scorers with 19 points on
16 spikes and a match-high three blocks. Middle blocker Andy
Leonardo added 17 points on 13 spikes, two blocks and two aces.
Costa Rica outside hitter Alberto Blanco led his team with 18
points on 16 spikes and two aces.
Guatemala Captain Gerardo Gonzalez: “The structure of the team
changed. The setter is everything. It’s the heart of the team.
The team started to play together. That’s the key. We started to
spike more effectively. We’re going to prepare tomorrow morning
so we can play in the afternoon and achieve our goal (of fifth
Guatemala Coach Julio Dominguez: “The substitutions helped us
start winning. The people on the bench started to play really
good. I’m very happy because we are achieving our goals.”
Costa Rica Head Coach Juan Acuna: "We had the tactics prepared
for the match with Guatemala, but then they made like three
blocks and we lost the set. And then our players lost their
Costa Rica Team Captain Alberto Blanco: “We are really sad
because we had a goal and we didn't achieve (the goal of making
the fifth-place match). The team was prepared for more, but we
were not focused enough and the technical point was weak.”