SANTA ROSA DE COPAN, Honduras, September 11, 2022.- Belize opened the XIV Boys’ U19 Central American Championship of AFECAVOL with a 3-2 (25-23, 19-25, 23-25, 25-18, 19-17) victory over Guatemala at the Santa Rosa Copan Gymnasium.
Belize overcame Guatemala after failing three match points before the dramatic five set finish to open the tournament.
Belize controlled Guatemala from the service line 17-7, as well as attacks 48-32 and 11-8 in blocks. Guatemala committed fewer errors (35-61).
Outside hitter Eleazar Mejia from Belize scored 30 points as the leading scorer of the match, on 16 attacks, one block and 13 points from serves; followed by opposite hitter Preston Smith with 21 points on 17 attacks and 4 blocks, and outside hitter Malcom Murillo with 12 points.
From Guatemala, opposite hitter Ferdinando González scored 12 points as their leading scorer.
On day two of the tournament, Belize will meet El Salvador and Guatemala against Costa Rica.
Eleazar Mejía, top scorer of Belize: “It was a nice game to open the tournament this way; our work had a good outcome. We are here to win this tournament. Most of my team members are new so they were shaken, I know that going forward we will make more progress”.
Alber Humes, head coach of Belize: “The hard work that these guys have been doing since March, a lot of effort from many people has paid off. You can see when they stayed focused, they came out strong”.