Guatemala beats Barbados, reaches U21 men's semi-final
GATINEAU, Canada, July 8, 2016 – Led by Erik Flores' 19 points,
Guatemala earned a semi-final spot at the U21 NORCECA Men's
Continental Championship by defeating Barbados 3-1 (25-21,
19-25, 25-21, 25-22) on Friday. The win gives the Central
American side a chance to test their mettle against Cuba on
Flores, who was icing his right hand after the spirited
four-setter at Centre Sportif de Gatineau, had 17 kills on 39
attacks to help Guatemala hold off a determined comeback from
Barbados, whose captain Andriy Stapleton left the game with a
knee injury in the first set. Wagner Chacon also scored 17
points for Guatemala. In Stapleton's stead, Barbados received 18
points apiece from Carlos Cyrus (all on kills, from 42 attacks)
and Adam Niles (who had seven blocks).
“We got motivated by the value of this game – we knew it was
very important, giving us a chance to get two more games
[semi-final and a medal game] against good teams,” Flores said.
“We know not too many countries of our region get the
achievement of being in the semi-final.
“We feel excited for the fight we'll have on Saturday.”
The marathon one-hour, 41-minute match saw Guatemala convert 45
of 137 attacks, while Barbados had about the same efficiency at
47 of 140. The telling stat was that Guatemala conceded only 22
points from errors while Barbados allowed 41.
“For us, it's very beneficial being in the semi-final,”
Guatemala coach Reider Lucas. “We are very happy to get the
experience that we will received from these next two games.”
Stapleton went down awkwardly after completing a cross-court
kill in the first set. The Barbados captain needed his teammates
to carry him to courtside.
“To lose our captain, who is one of our best players, and keep
playing, we did our best,” Barbados setter Paul Doughty said.
“I'm still proud of our effort. They [Guatemala] were very
tight, they had very good defence.”
Barbados could certainly leave the Centre Sportif with heads
held high after getting all the way back to a 24-23 deficit in
the fourth set, after being down 16-9 at the second technical
“I'm very, very, very proud of our effort tonight,” said
Barbados coach John Stuart, whose team also had 10 kills from
Ahkeem Mayers. “They showed a lot of heart. We played a lot
better than we have in past games.”
Barbados and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines' fifth-place
classification match is at 4 p.m. Saturday.