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Guatemala wins tough duel to Panama


MANAGUA, Nicaragua, December 12, 2017.- Guatemala won a tough duel to Panama 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 25-23) on day three of the women’s Volleyball tournament at the XI Central American Games Managua 2017 being held at Alexis Argüello sport complex.


Guatemala and Panama finished in very close sets. Points were distributed on both sides with long and fast rallies. Panama’s momentum was in set two attacking positive points to recover from a six point deficit, forcing Guatemala’s defense to dig even harder. Guatemala lost their five point advantage in set four as Panama kept on pushing, finishing with tight margin.


Guatemala remains unbeaten with 2-0 win-loss record and 8 points; Panama has 1-2 record and 7 points.  


The winners held advantage in every skill, with 45-42 margin in spikes, 11-8 in blocks and 8-4 in service points. Guatemala committed 34 errors and Panama 31.


Both teams balanced their offense between three players. Opposite Rut Gomez led Guatemala’s offense with 22 points on 14 kills and 8 impressive blocks, followed by outside hitter Blanca Recinos with 18 points including 6 aces and Estefanie Bethancourt added 11 points. Middle blocker Angela Evans was Panama’s best scorer with 14 points, joined by opposite Hashlyn Cuero with 12 points and opposite Maria Gallimore with 11 points.


Guatemala (2-0) meets Costa Rica (2-0) on day four of competition while Panama (1-2) faces Nicaragua (2-0).


Leading scorer of Guatemala Rut Gomez: “We had difficulties adjusting our reception and we were too insecure on the service line, one of our best skills. It was a game with fast runs and we came from behind on several occasions. We’ve been preparing the entire year and we have changed our mentality form years before”.


Head coach of Guatemala William Fernandez: “It was a great battle, Panama has good height and a good performing system; we are a very offensive team. I made some changes in line-up and our bench players did a good job. Guatemala is here to fight for every win and we are prepared for hard matches”.


Head coach of Panama Mercedez Pomares: “Panama has everything to win, they are in good condition, but they don’t believe in themselves. All our opponents play rough against Panama and today the showed they are prepared to battle after coming from behind to win set two”.