Puerto Rico wins the Gold Medal at CACG Barranquilla


BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, August 2, 2018.- Puerto Rico won the Gold Medal match of the men’s volleyball tournament to Colombia 3-0 (25-14, 25-21, 25-14) at the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games at Humberto Perea Coliseum.


With a remarkable performance, Puerto Rico defeated host Colombia for the gold medal with unbeaten record. This is Puerto Rico’s fifth gold medal in the history of the event, having played a total of nine title matches.


The host Colombia made a historic presentation while reaching the Central American and Caribbean podium for the first time ever, winning the silver medal.


Puerto Rico edged Colombia the entire first and third sets with a sizeable advantage from the beginning. The winner’s strength over the net by Sequiel Sanchez, Maurice Torres and Steven Morales never seized, holding off Colombian figure Liberman Agamez. Colombia had their momentum in the second set when subs Alomia Carlos and Gustavo Larrahondo gave a fresh air to their offense, stopping Puerto Rico only for a few moments.


Puerto Rico carried out advantage in every skill, with 36-32 in spikes, 9-5 in blocks and 7-2 in aces; while limiting their errors only to 10 points and scoring on 23 opponent errors.


Wing spiker Sequiel Sanchez led Puerto Rico with 15 points on 11 kills, 2 blocks and 2 aces; opposite Maurice Torres followed with 14 points including 10 kills and 3 blocks, while middle blocker Steven Morales registered 10 points. Middle blocker Kevin Carabali finished with 10 points.


Oswald Antonetti head coach of Puerto Rico “what’s important here is that we represent the people of Puerto Rico that need a little positive in our lives. The group showed maturity, focused, very special that enjoyed the victory. Our key was the balance that exists among the 14 players, everyone understands their role. Angel Perez as emotional leader of the group and me, they let me be part of this good atmosphere. It was very symbolic and interesting prove that volleyball is alive in Puerto Rico”.


Maurice Torres, one of Puerto Rico’s top scorers “it was a team effort; last year we didn’t play like this. We took care of every detail. I believe we did everything well, we set our rhythm, we played our system and we had the support of all the Puerto Rican fans here. We are taking gold home after a very difficult year of natural disasters; it’s really special”.


Captain of Puerto Rico Angel Perez, who was feeling sick to play, said “I trust the team completely, day by day has been performed at our mode. The collective tops the individual. We’ve had injuries, difficulties, and sickness, last night it was me who got sick, God had a different plan for me. I am very proud of how my team performed and despite watching from the bench, I lived every single point just like I was there. As a team we practiced only once, our first practice was here in Colombia, meanwhile we’re coming from killing us at Puerto Rico’s national league; seven from Guaynabo against four from Adjunta, eleven of the fourteen are here but once we put on our national uniform, all of that is set aside, I believe it speaks well of our maturity as a team, the character that we’ve shown during the competition. As the games went by we improved and for me this was our best match of the tournament”.