Guatemala stays alive for Group M qualification


PARAMARIBO,  Suriname, Saturday June 15, 2013 - Guatemala used a balance attack to defeat winless Anguilla 3-0 (25-10, 25-15, 25-18) for their first win in their second round NORCECA Men’s Group M qualifiers to third round of qualification for the 2014 FIVB World Volleyball Championship in Poland, at the Ismay Van Wilgen Sporthal.


Coming off a tough straight sets loss to Martinique in their first match on Saturday morning, the Central Americans were eager to get a win by a similar 3-0 margin for maximum five points, and led by Jeyson Flores and Brandon Franco with nine points each and  eight from captain Oscar Daniel Garcia.


The trio of Gerardo Paz, Moises Santos and Andy Blanco also contributed six points for the winners in the 62 minutes contest.


With the win, Guatemala joined hosts Suriname and Martinique who meet on Saturday night on five points each, but from a match more ahead of Sunday morning final preliminary round of matches, at the end of which the top two will contest the gold medal match, for the lone automatic spot to the third round.


The Guatemalans, while shorter than their opponents proved to be a powerful force above the net with a 37-21 advantage on spikes, 7-4 on blocks and 5-0 on service aces against the Anguillans who did not help their cause by committing 26 errors to their opponents 18.


For Anguilla, their best scorer was Calvin Samuel with seven, and captain Ian Conner and Sherwin Richardson with six each.


Speaking after his team’s second loss from as many matches, which ended their chances of getting to the gold medal match, Connor, while disappointed said he  was still pleased with the team effort.


“If you want to compare our first match against Suriname to this one against Guatemala, I would say we played with a lot more effort and energy, even though the scores in the first two sets ay not reflect that.


“We have one more match to play in the round-robin and while we are out of a chance to qualify for the gold medal match, we are still representing our country and will be coming out to give a much bigger effort,” added Connor.


Guatemala’s Garcia said after his team’s defeat at the hands of Martinique the win against Anguilla was a welcome one.


He added, “It means that we are still in with a chance of getting to the gold medal match and we now have to give a bigger effort in the next match against Suriname.”


Jason Liburd, coach of Anguilla echoes the views of his captain in saying his team showed more fight and energy in their second match which was good.


“We did a few things better in this match than we did against Suriname and with one match to go we hope to continue to improve before the bronze medal match.


Cuban Reider Lucas, the coach of Guatemala while happy for the win by his team was quick to point out that his team also made too many errors which they need to limit in their key match against Suriname on Sunday morning.


“It will be a very important match for us, one that we have to win, so we must do better in all aspects of our play,” said Lucas.