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Puerto Rico wins crucial match against Mexico in NORCECA B

PINAR DEL RÍO, Cuba, November 10, 2017 - Puerto Rico defeated Mexico 3-0 (25-12, 25-21, 25-21) in a decisive clash that opened the NORCECA World Qualifying Tournament Group B at 19th of November Hall in this provincial capital located at the west of the island.

The Puerto Ricans were superior and did not let the opponents to steal the initiative at any time moving one step away from winning one of the two remaining spots to complete the 24 teams that will animate the FIVB World Championship in Bulgaria and Italy next year.

Jean Carlos Ortiz and Ezequiel Sanchez each scored 15 points for the winners while Danie Vargas had 16 as the best from Mexico.

Puerto Rico outscored Mexico in blocks (8-3) and aces (8-2). They held a slight margin in attacks 33-32 and made lesser mistakes 17-26.

The technical director of Puerto Rico, Ramón Hernández, expressed his joy over the outcome. "Our goal is to classify and it would be nice to win tomorrow and reach the final match against Cuba both undefeated, but nothing is certain, we must maintain the focus. However I am happy because we executed the plan against Mexico perfectly, plus the courage, the determination and the desire were key to victory."

Ángel Pérez, captain of the Puerto Ricans, considered they were better in serve and reception, and that was the big difference, and they expect tomorrow to make an effort because they should not disrespect Guatemala. 

“Modern volleyball is like that, the team that can press more with the service and be more effective when receiving, that's when you come to victory, and that we did, we put our opponents in difficulty, the setter could not put the game together as they would have wanted and on the contrary, we received better and the offensive flowed".

Jorge Miguel Azair, coach of Mexico, said that "it was a very bad game from us, we did not do it as it should in these games, on the contrary, with insecurity, and that killed us, we started dubious in the attack and did not produce in the first set, and from there we lost confidence, in the end we could not retake our game."

"I do not know if the trip of the three that came from Europe affected their performance, but that does not count anymore and the reality is that we did not play well, Puerto Rico won and I congratulate them.”

His captain, Pedro Rangel said "it was very difficult for the team to catch our rhythm, we fought too much to achieve it at the level we are playing, but it was clear that the opponents played much better than us, it took us a long time to score points and they knew how to attack with his service and entangle the reception".