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Suriname qualify second round of ‘Worlds’


PARAMARIBO, Suriname, October 31, 2016 - With the vociferous home fans spurring them on, Suriname defeated Guadeloupe in a thriller to advance to the second round of the CAZOVA zonal qualifying series for the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Volleyball Championship at the Anthony Nesty Indoor Sports Hall tonight.


The last match of the tournament turned out to best by a long way and the hosts won a nail-biting showdown for the silver medal and second qualifying spot from Group B 23-25, 25-23, 25-19, 23-25, 15-11.


The Surinamese, who had lost to Jamaica the day before after leading by a set and 11-6 in the second, were ahead 18-14 and 19-16 on their way to closing it out in four sets.


But nerves crept into the equation and Guadeloupe battled back strongly to force the only fifth set of the six-match tournament.


However, the hosts, ranked fourth in CAZOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association) and first in this tournament, never let their disappointment affect their performance in the decider and they led virtually all the way to sneak home in just under two hours.


Kevan Sporkslede scored an incredible tournament-high 35 points and Zefanio Breinburg (17) and captain Antione Vliet (10) also contributed in double figures for the winners.


Loic Couchy and Alexandre Watson poured in 13 each for the visitors and Kenny Fortune and Rony Sophiyair chipped in with 11 and ten points, respectively.  


Suriname coach Verdy Getrouw dedicated the victory to the memory of Faisel Molijn and the players presented their silver medals to the family of their assistant coach, who sadly passed away in a vehicular accident a couple weeks ago.


“We didn’t perform the way we expected in the other two games, but we really came out and delivered this time” said Vliet.


Guadeloupe coach Ismael Olivier said “we are disappointed but honoured to be part of a match like this” and congratulated the winners.


Couchy, captain of the tenth-ranked team from Guadeloupe, stated that his players did their best but just came up short.


The sixth-ranked Jamaicans, who won all three matches to capture the gold medal, had advanced to the second round of qualifying for the next World Championship in Bulgaria and Italy since their second victory the night before.