Argentina men’s take the gold medal at Pan Am Games



TORONTO, Canada, July 26, 2015 – Argentina won the men’s volleyball gold medal at the Toronto Pan American Games with a terrific comeback to outduel Brazil 3-2 (25-23, 18-25,  19-25, 25-23, 15-8) in front of a full house at Exhibition Center on Sunday afternoon.


Trailing by four points in the latter stages of the fourth set, the Argentinean side steadily climbed the ladder to tie the score with resilient field and net defense. At 23-all they forced the tie-breaker with the ace by Martin Ramos and a tremendous block by Luciano Zornetta.


Argentina dominated in the tie-breaker to claim their second gold medal in the history of the Games adding to the one conquered at home in 1995 when the event took place in Mar del Plata.


En route to their championship, the Argentineans snapped the streak of two titles in row by Brazil winners in Rio de Janeiro (2007) and Guadalajara, Mexico (2011).


Facundo Conte, selected the Most Valuable Player of the tournament, led Argentina with 23 points, followed by Maximiliano Gauna with 13 and Sebastian Sole and Martin Ramos each with 10 points.


Brazilian Renan Buiatti led all the players with a tournament-high 28 points in the losing effort.  Douglas Souza finished with 18 and Otavio Pinto had 11 points.


Julio Velasco, Coach of Argentina: “I am very excited because is my first victory with Argentina as a coach. I had won previously somewhere else but not with my country. I came to try to contribute with Argentinean volley and I have received this victory in my second year. This final as well as the semifinal against Canada were very difficult. We are a whole working team with Hernan Ferraro in charge of the tactical stuff, how to block. We worked with that as well as with the technique, but overall these guys played with all their hearts out.”


Sebastian Solé, player of Argentina: “I am super happy with the first gold medal won by this group. The feeling is huge and I am short of words to describe it. I think we played our best in the most crucial moments. I think our determination and the team effort was the key at the end.”


Nicolas Uriarte, player of Brazil: “We suffered a lot but at the end what matters the most is the victory and we got it. You don’t play always at your best but the important thing is to win. It is our first gold medal with the national team and winning against Brazil and 3-2 is great.”


Javier Filardi, player of Argentina: “I feel such a great happiness. We enjoyed a unique and nice match and the way we won it was something more special to us. This is a wonderful moment for me. Winning the Pan Am Games and having a newborn daughter. The World League and now this I couldn’t ask for more.”


Roberley Leonaldo, Coach of Brazil: “We could not get a solid balance. We could have some control, but not at all. We tried a strong service. They grew up a lot in the match. There were some positive things I could keep. I think we are trying to set up some phases of preparation as part of a process. This is a young team we are developing as we expect to improve. We got into a final as part of the purpose. We did not think about the rivalry against Argentina, in a final any opponent is tough. It could be either Canada or Puerto Rico.”

Tiago Brendle, Libero of Brazil: “We let them grow up during the match and we could not stop them. That cost us to lose the gold medal. This is something we have to learn from.”


Mauricio Silva, Captain of Brazil: “We couldn’t neutralize them. We struggled to pass and today it was a very good day for them. Congratulations to Argentina. Now we have to move on and think about our commitments with our clubs.”