Puerto Rico earns first win at Junior Pan Am Games

CALI, Colombia, November 27, 2021. - Puerto Rico earned their first win defeating Guatemala 3-0 (25-17, 25-17, 26-24) on day two of the Men’s volleyball tournament of the I Junior Pan American Games at Evangelista Mora Coliseum.


Puerto Rico evened their record 1-1 in pool A and Guatemala hasn´t won yet (0-2).


Puerto Rico got into complications as Guatemala led the entire third set up to the exciting end; the Caribbean squad needed two match points to finish in straight sets.


The winners led by a huge 41-25 margin in attacks and 11-4 in blocks; they also did better in serves 4-2. Guatemala committed 20 errors against 27 from Puerto Rico.


Puerto Rican captain Pedro Molina led all scorers with 20 points on 17 kills, one block and two aces; middle blocker Willy Varela also contributed in Puerto Rico’s victory scoring 12 points on 6 kills and the most blocks with 6. Opposite hitter José Rodrigo Carrillo was Guatemala’s best scorer with 9 points.

Puerto Rico resumes the preliminary round against host Colombia and Guatemala faces Argentina.


Pedro Molina, top scorer and captain of Puerto Rico: “Our desire of winning helped us to overcome Guatemala’s good performance in the third set; we came from behind the entire set until we won. We felt Guatemala’s pressure, but we were able to recover. Our preparation for tomorrow’s match begins tonight by resting and eating well”.


Gerardo De Jesús Sánchez, head coach of Puerto Rico: “My team has great depth and used several reserves in the third set so they could play, sincerely anyone can come in to solve. I believe Guatemala competes well, several players were in the NORCECA senior championship, they are a respectable team and their work is serious, they have talent. Tomorrow is an important match against the locals (Colombia) and probably it will decide the semifinal spot, we’ll be ready”.


José Rodrigo Carrillo, top scorer of Guatemala: “It was an exciting finish. We focused on following our coaches’ instructions; they told us where to block, to stand in the diagonal side and that made us enjoy the match, which helped us to perform well. Once we get on fire nobody can stop us”.