Saint Vincent earns sixth at U21 men's championship, overcoming
Phillip's 31 points
Continental Championship in sixth place after defeating Trinidad
and Tobago 3-1 (24-26, 25-19, 25-19, 25-21) in a hard-fought
Saint Vincent setter Shevron Caine kept his front-row mates
well-fed at the Centre Sportif de Gatineau. Ronaldo Franklin
scored 20 points (18 kills from 43 attacks), outside-hitter
counterpart Asmond Franklin tallied 16 (all kills from 35
attacks) and middle Marcus Thomas also scored 16 (including a
match-high four blocks). Trinidad and Tobago ran mostly through
captain Marlon Phillips, who set a tournament single-high with
31 points (with 30 kills from 63 attacks).
Saint Vincent was a tough more proficient throughout the match,
converting 53 of 115 (46.1 per cent) of its attacks whereas
Trinidad was 45 of 117 (38.5%). Thomas also bounced back after
taking a hard fall to the floor on the decisive point of the
“Our performance today was very good compared with the other
games we played,” Saint Vincent captain Delshun Welcome said. “I
believe if we had this performance that we played today, in our
other matches, we would have had a win. We played really good
even though some of our players were injured.
We dropped our game [level of intensity] in earlier matches – we
typically play harder than this,” added Welcome, who scored
eight points. “Our game wasn’t there, but today it was more of
Nine Saint Vincent players are 18 or younger, indicating their
core group of juniors have some potential.
“It was a much better performance today,” Saint Vincent coach
Vance Andrews said. “I think the team had really good composure
in the game. In the other matches, they played in patches, but
in this game they played more of a complete match.
“We are going back and working on all the mistakes we had in
this tournament. I want to keep working with these guys.”
The match slipped away from Trinidad in the second set, during
the span between technical timeouts. Caine served six
consecutive points to put Saint Vincent into a 16-12 lead. The
defeat put Trinidad in seventh place.
“It was a hard way to finish the tournament after all of the
work we put into developing,” Trinidad setter Kameron Donald
said. “It was not a satisfying loss because we did not achieve
the goal we came with. Congratulations to Saint Vincent. They
fought hard for the victory.”
Trinidad's motivation to come to the U21, where it played Cuba
and Canada in the group stage, was to help foster growth for
Donald, Phillip and outside hitter Adriel Roberts (who scored 11
points on Sunday). All three teenagers are considered future
senior team players.
“We have three guys who will factor in significantly as we push
for the 2018 world championships,” Gideon Dickson said. “We
needed to give them exposure at a high-level competition. They
did in fact have a good tournament.”
Canada and Guatemala meet in the bronze-medal game later Sunday,
while Cuba and USA play for the gold-medal and worlds berth to
wrap the tournament.