Mexico Sweeps Puerto Rico in Bronze Match
Colorado Springs, USA, September 1, 2012 - Mexico defeated
Puerto Rico 25-12, 25-21, 25-16 in the 2012 NORCECA Men’s Junior
Continental Championship bronze-medal match Saturday afternoon
at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Mexico secured the third and final spot available to NORCECA
into the 2013 FIVB Volleyball Men’s Junior World Championship in
Turkey. In addition, the bronze medal represents Mexico’s first-ever
medal in the age-group. Puerto Rico was attempting to earn is
fifth overall medal in the event as it had won silver in 2000
and 2002 along with bronze in 2004 and 2010.
Sergio Perez led Mexico with 13 points and Jesus Alberto Perales
added 10 points in the victory. Jose Mendoza totaled 15 digs,
while Perez contributed 14 excellent receptions on 17 attempts.
Puerto Rico was led by Fabian Rohena Figueroa with nine points
and Pedro Fernandez Ramos added seven points.
Mexico’s net defense held firm for a 10-4 block advantage.
Mexico also limited its errors to seven in the match and
benefited from 20 Puerto Rico errors.
“From the start we knew it would be a tough match,” Mexico
captain Jonathan Ponce said. “We knew Puerto Rico would never
stop fighting. We tried not to lose our focus and maintain our
composure throughout the match. We wanted to finish the match
strong. I also want to congratulate Puerto Rico for a good match
“We knew this would be a very hard match because only one spot
was available for the World Championship between the two teams,”
Mexico head coach Justo Arias said. “Pressure was on both sides.
My players went in focused and followed the directions we had
given them. There were moment we lost focus, but we regained it
quickly. There were moments we could not stop their fast balls,
but we adjusted to it. Puerto Rico never stopped playing and is
a great team. With the victory we got we came here for with
qualification into the World Championship.”
“First of all I would like to congratulate Mexico for qualifying
for the World Championship,” Puerto Rico head coach Ramon
Hernandez said. “We had a lot of problems siding out today. We
knew we had to play well. Mexico is a feisty team with great
defense and could put the ball down. Obviously we are
disappointed with the results, but I am proud of my team never
stopping to compete. We came up short today. Teams like Mexico
and Canada are getting better and ranked higher because they are
investing into their programs, while we are not having the
results we would like to have.”
“Congratulations to Mexico for the win and qualification into
the World Championship,” Puerto Rico captain Cristian Rivera
said. “Our two teams have a long history with this group, and we
came up short this time. I am disappointed with our performance,
but we will take this as a lesson and not as a defeat. We can
and will get better. I am confident of that.”