Mexico, June 26, 2021. - Mexico and Canada will
clash for the last Olympic berth to Tokyo at the
NORCECA Continental Cup Finals on Sunday at
final berth to the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games will
be decided between Josue Gaxiola/Jose Luis Rubio
and Juan Virgen/Lombardo Ontiveros of Mexico up
against Canadian Schachter Samuel alongside Sam
Pedlow and Grant O’Gorman with Ben Saxton.
Mexico-1 of Josue Gaxiola and Jose Luis Rubio,
2016 FIVB U21 World silver medalists dominated
Kevin Rodríguez and Cristian Encarnación of
Puerto Rico-1 in straight sets (21-7, 21-17).
The Mexican duo was more aggressive at the
beginning but overconfident in the second set
that carried on slower and a much closer score.
Actions were even 11-11, but with several good
defenses by Gaxiola and blocks from Rubio they
pushed up to 17-14 to keep the advantage.
explained that after their strong performance in
the first, they got too relaxed in the second
set “by adjusting our defense in the second set,
our opponents got desperate and we were able to
get back into our rhythm”.
Juan Virgen and Lombardo Ontiveros defeated
Puerto Rico-2 of Josue Rivera and Juan Carlos
Ribas 2-1 (18-21, 21-14, 15-9). Mexico’s game
was off against a powerful start from Puerto
Rico who opened the score with two aces and
winning the first set from keeping the Mexican
duo out of balance. Virgen and Lombardo worked
hard overcoming some offense errors and moving
forward to a comfortable 21-14 and forcing a
third set. It was an intense battle of good
skills from both sides but Mexico jumped to a
five point lead 10-5 and final 15-9 winning the
said “in the end what matters is the win and
that we will play for the ticket to Tokyo, this
is why we are here. We had difficulties getting
into a good rhythm, adapting to the win and we
didn’t trust our game. Our opponent was strong
and really doing some damage with their serves.
We were more consistent from the second set
easily their semifinal series to Nicaragua,
having only to play one match with Schachter
Samuel and Sam Pedlow of Canada-1 defeating
Ruben Mora and Dany López 2-0(21-16, 21-10).
Both Pedlow and Schachter were strong in every
skill, performing well.
indicated that the focus was on their side “we
played our game, kept our standard and took care
of ourselves; I think we had a little bit of
nerves at the start but once we settled in we
were in control”.
tomorrows’ match against Mexico, Sam Schachter
said “they are a fantastic opponent, they play
on the World Tour and have high quality, and
we’ve played against them so we know what to
expect from this important match, they’ll bring
their best and we’re bring ours”.
Men’s Semifinals Saturday
Puerto Rico 0
Luis Rubio MEX-1 d Kevin Rodríguez/Cristian
Encarnación PUR-1 (21-7, 21-17)
Virgen/Lombardo Ontiveros MEX-2 d Josue
Rivera/Juan C. Ribas PUR-2 (18-21, 21-14, 15-9)
Samuel/Sam Pedlow CAN-1 d Ruben Mora/Dany López
NCA-1 (21-16, 21-10)
O’Gorman/Ben Saxton CAN-2 d Jefferson Cascante/Dennis
López NCA-2 (21-0, 21-0)