Guatemala earns third in Group B at U21 men's championship
GATINEAU, Canada, July 7, 2016 – Guatemala drew deep for an
inspired effort to wrest third place in Group B at the U21
NORCECA Men's Continental Championship, defeating Trinidad and
Tobago 3-0 (25-21, 25-12, 25-17).
The result grants Guatemala a quarterfinal matchup against
Barbados at 8 p.m. Friday at Centre Sportif de Gatineau.
Trinidad and Tobago will play in the 6/7 classification game on
Guatemala (1-2) was spurred by a match-high 13 points, including
nine kills, from captain Erik Flores, while Carlos Lopez scored
11 and Wagner Chacon contributed nine. For Trinidad and Tobago
(0-3), captain Marlon Phillips had 13 points (including 12 kills
from a whopping 50 attacks) while Adriel Roberts had 13
(including 10 kills from 16 attacks). The story of the match was
composure, as Trinidad and Tobago conceded 30 points on errors
while Guatemala allowed 17.
“Just in the beginning, we were nervous,”Guatemala middle
blocker Ricardo Mendoza, who had six points, said.“We know how
we can play ... Once things started to go our way, we grew more
The first set was tight, with Guatemala wresting control after
leading just 16-15 at the second technical timeout. In the
second, a big block on Phillip that led to winning a long rally
and going ahead 12-7 seemed to be the point where Guatemala
gained separation. For the Central American team, reaching the
medal round is an important stepping-stone in their development.
“We are not adapted to this tournament level, but in every game
we are getting more comfortable,” Guatemala coach Reider Lucas
said.“We are very happy. If we get victory tomorrow, we know
that we will be playing in the semifinals.”
Trinidad and Tobago
converted on only 23 of 84 attacks, which was far less efficient
than Guatemala's 35-of-80.
“We didn’t play at all today,”Trinidad coach Gideon Dickson
said. “I think we were overconfident and complacent.
Congratulations to Team Guatemala on their win.”
Once the first set slipped away from Trinidad and Tobago, it was
unable to correct its course.
“I’m very disappointed,” Phillip said. “I don’t know, but we
were just not playing today – we had a bad game. We need better
communication on the court and we have to score more points.”
Guatemala's Luis Santa Cruz was credited with a match-high four