Mexico Breaks Down Dominican Republic for Fifth Place

Long Beach, California, May 12, 2012 – Mexico collected a 25-21, 25-16, 25-21 victory Saturday over Dominican Republic during the fifth-place match of the NORCECA Men’s Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament that started six days earlier in Long Beach, Calif.

Carlos Guerra sparked Mexico with 23 points, while Ismael Guerrero contributed eight points in the victory. Dominican Republic was led by Eduardo Concepcion’s 11 points, which was matched by Elnis Palomino’s 11 points.

Mexico’s offense kept Dominican Republic off guard with a 43-25 advantage in attack points and aces (7-5).

“It’s always a difficult match when we face Dominican Republic,” Mexico captain Gerardo Contreras said. “In last years they have been five setters pretty much every match. It is a relief not to play five sets. I cannot say I’m satisfied with the result overall. The reality is that we had to play for fifth and we won and we’ll take it.”

“I’m very disappointed,” Dominican Republic match captain Victor Batista said. “Our technical quality of the whole team is not what it is supposed to be for a national team. I think it starts there. We don’t have many players that play all year round. They don’t get to play until they come here. I think that’s a big problem we always have in the Dominican Republic. I hope that people see that back in Dominican Republic and they can take the measures to make a good team and a staff that will work hard to make sure players who are training all year round have good training. Congratulations to Mexico. It’s always fun and tough to play them. We’ve been playing five sets since 2002. I love those guys. I know most of them and they have been playing very good volleyball.”

“It’s always good to finish a competition with a win and we’re happy we were able to do that,” Mexico Coach Jorge Azair said. “Now it’s time to analyze what we need to do better in the future. This is the end of a cycle. I think with some help from our federation, we can improve every part of it. We would like to compete with the best teams in the world. These NORCECA Games, any Central America Games, we want to do the best we can and we hope our federation will put in a structure that will help us achieve that.”

“The truth is that we were missing some of our top players,” Dominican Republic assistant coach Hector Romero Medina said. “The truth is we were not even 80 percent. Some players had family problems. Other players have injuries, so we were not able to have the team that we wanted to have. We did not have the quality of team that Mexico has and Mexico has had a strong team for many years. For us it is also the end of a cycle and we hope we can make some structural changes to improve the foundation of our team.”