Dominican Republic Digs Past Trinidad & Tobago

Long Beach, California, May 11, 2012 – Dominican Republic scored a 25-21, 22-25, 27-25, 25-19 victory over Trinidad & Tobago Friday afternoon in the 5-8 Classification Round of the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament being held May 7-12 at Long Beach, Calif.


Jose Miguel Caceres paced Dominican Republic with 18 points, while Elnis Palomino contributed 17 points and Wilfrido Hernandez 16 points. Trinidad & Tobago’s Marc Honore both charted a match-high 20 points and Nolan Tash added 18 points.


The team stats were fairly even as Dominican Republic held a 4-3 edge in aces and Trinidad & Tobago held a 10-9 margin in blocks. Dominican Republic managed a 57-52 advantage in attack points and had four fewer errors (29-25).


Dominican Republic will now challenge Mexico on Saturday at 15:00 for fifth place, while Trinidad & Tobago will face Costa Rica on Saturday at 13:00 in the seventh-place match.


“These matches are very good for our team,” Dominican Republic Coach Jacinto Campechano said. “We do not have an opportunity to play these kinds of matches, so it’s a great time to play. The NORCECA zone has rose in level of play a lot. Between Trinidad & Tobago, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Dominican, there’s not a lot of difference. I would like to give Trinidad congratulations because they have improved tremendously. In sports, someone always wins and someone always loses. We are lucky to be the winner today.”


“Every time we play Trinidad & Tobago it’s a good match,” Dominican Republic player Victor Batista said. “It’s always close. It’s fun and very competitive. Congratulations to Trinidad & Tobago, you guys are getting very, very good. We have to watch out for them now. We have to do the best we can. We have to avoid errors try to keep getting better. Our goal is get 5th place and we will see tomorrow against Mexico.”


“Congrats to Dominican,” Trinidad & Tobago captain Nolan Tash said. “I felt that we had an opportunity to push the match to five sets.


We came out today with the intention to beat the Dominican team - no disrespect to them. We felt we were right with them competitively. However, we made a few too many errors. We’re still hoping to keep our heads up high.”


“In scores, we feel the game was close,” Trinidad & Tobago Coach Gideon Dickson said. “We have a lot of work to do. I take full responsibility for the loss. Dominican wanted it a little bit more. They rose to the challenge and won the game. This is another step in the development of Trinidad & Tobago. Our main goal today is to qualify for the World Championship is 2014. Dominican is one of the teams we will have to beat to get there. We consider this to be a bend in the road. We will come again a lot stronger the next time.