Puerto Rico advance to semifinals beating Dominican Republic

DURANGO, Mexico, August 21, 2021.- Puerto Rico advanced into the Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship semifinals defeating Dominican Republic 3-1 (25-22, 22-25, 25-16, 25-23) in Durango Mexico.

Puerto Rico will play Cuba in semifinals and Dominican Republic plays classification for positions 5-8 against Trinidad and Tobago.

Puerto Rico blocked Dominican Republic all the way with an impressive 19-9 advantage, counteracting Dominican’s powerful attacks; they also did better in attacks 51-48 and 3-0 in serves. Both teams finished with similar unforced errors, Puerto Rico with 29 and Dominican Republic with 24.

Puerto Rican Opposite Gabriel García led all scorers with a match-high of 26 points on 19 attacks, 6 blocks and one ace; also joining the party of points were outside hitter Pelegrin Vargas with 16 points, middle blocker Jonathan Rodríguez  contributed with 12 points and middle blocker Pedro Nieves topped in blocks with 7 points from his 11 points total.  

Arturo Iglesias, Captain of Puerto Rico: “It was a hard game, they played very well, we had some bad moments and I believe we gave away the second set because of our numerous errors; we played one point a time with confidence. We are really glad”.

Oswald Antonetti, Head coach of Puerto Rico: “Dominican Republic is well prepared, they are physically in good shape, they are organized and have many qualities, therefore it was a psychological match; we depend on our emotional intelligence. We are a team of tradition, we are current Central American and Caribbean champions, we want this team to feed on those traditions, we are excited to continue playing”.

Henry López, outside hitter Dominican Republic: “We failed in key moments, some attacks that could have been good we failed and they did good job”.

Dante Mañon, Coach of Dominican Republic: “Our anxiety destroyed us, we weren’t ahead only in one set, and we dominated the match. Our best attacker, Tapia, was always blocked by two players and that made us lose concentration”.