Guatemala claims back-to-back unbeaten titles in Men’s AFECAVOL

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, November 16, 2018.- Guatemala defeated Belize 3-0 (25-17. 25-19, 26-24) claiming back-to-back unbeaten titles at the Men’s AFECAVOL Central American Champion in FESAVOL gymnasium of San Salvador, El Salvador.  

Guatemala had already celebrated their second title in a row one day earlier, with the combination of beating Panama in three sets and Costa Rica’s second set loss to Honduras. This is Guatemala’s fourth Central American Men’s title (1977, 2012, 2017). 

Guatemala had a difficult third set coming from behind the whole time. It was an exciting finish with as Guatemala recovered from a dangerous five point deficit (15-20) and Belize losing a set point (24-23), for a close finish.

The champions end with 6-0 unbeaten record and perfect 30 points; Belize with 2-4 record and 10 points, waiting for their final ranking position of the event.

Guatemala led by a slim 34-33 in spikes and 6-2 in aces; both team scored 6 points on blocks. Guatemala committed 21 errors and Belize 32.

Middle blocker Brandon Chinchilla scored 11 points as Guatemala’s leading attacker, followed by opposite Andy Leonardo with 10 points and outside hitter Carlos Lopez added 9 points. Opposite Karym Coleman of Belize led all scorers with 18 points on 17 kills and one block; outside hitter Francis Hauze contributed with 9 points.

Andy Leonardo of Guatemala said they got relaxed in the end “this has been happening lately; we play the first two sets well, but we lose our rhythm in the third and we don’t trust ourselves. We managed to solve by concentrating and recovering the serve. We’ve had really close finishing but we have practiced a lot and our coach Reider has shown us how to take the heat”. Leonardo also said to be grateful for all their followers in Guatemala “we dedicate this victory to all of them, to our families, mine in United States and in Guatemala, to my children and wife as well”.

Karym Coleman of Belize said he was playing hard from the beginning “we had a great third set, my team came together in the end; unfortunately, same thing as usual: experience, passing, setting stared dropping. I am grateful my team didn’t just stay back and take a loss”.