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Nicaragua topped Panama at Men’s AFECAVOL

 

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, November 12, 2018.- Nicaragua topped Panama 3-0 (25-23, 26-24, 25-22) for their first victory at the twentieth Men’s Senior AFECAVOL Central American Championship being held San Salvador, El Salvador.

 

Nicaragua was calculated in reaching a considerable advantage; Panama never stopped pushing, keeping the score close but always one step behind. Nicaragua showed a fast and organized game plan, but losing three match points (24-19) before their thrilling 25-22 finish.

 

Nicaragua improved their win-loss record (1-1) and stands with five points; Panama has 1-2 record and four points. On day three, Nicaragua plays against Belize (1-2) and Panama has the day off.

 

The winners prevailed on 43-36 advantage in attacks and scoring on 30 opponent errors, while Panama held 8-2 margin in blocks, 2-1 in aces and scored on 23 Nicaraguan errors.

 

Outside hitter Jony Zeledon and opposite Denis Garcia of Nicaragua scored 15 tallies each, all in kills. Middle blocker Angel Beitia led Panama with 13 points on 10 kills and 3 blocks and outside hitter Oswald Marshall scored 9 points, followed by opposite Otto Othon with 8 points.

 

Álvaro Solís, Nicaragua’s captain said they still need more confidence “we committed too many errors, we haven’t showed our real game level. This is a young team, several players are very experienced, with international exposure, so, we can show a higher game level”.

 

Captain Oswald Marshall of Panama said his team had a bad attitude “I believe we could have easily won the first set, but we committed errors such as attacks with only one block, and our bad attitude. We were able to recover and have better rhythm but the referees lowered our moral, it’s not an excuse but we are very sad to have lost”.

 

Osman Hernández coach of Nicaragua said his team will improve their rhythm “today we kept our game structure. Panama pushed stronger from point 20 and we never lost concentration, which is very important because in this category you must have nerves of steel. All the matches will be hard and we hope to advance firmly”.

 

“We were always behind our opponent” said Panama’s coach Horacio Angulo. “Nicaragua set their rhythm attacking our smallest setter, it was a good strategy. We tried to counterattack but they kept their pace. My captain’s performance was unstable and wasn’t effective in blocking. We attempted to do the impossible, I congratulate Nicaragua. We could have won the last two sets, but actions by the referees also influenced our actions” added Angulo.