GATINEAU, August 9, 2022- Puerto Rico opened Pool B action of the Pan American Cup with a 3-1 (25-21, 25-18, 21-25 and 27-25) over Brazil in two hours at the Slush Puppy Centre in Gatineau, Canada.
The South American team, made up of players aged 18-19, started out ahead 8-6 and continued to lead 16-15. The Puerto Rican defense, combined with Pedro Nieves and Klistan Lawrence’s spikes, proved to be crucial to revert the score 23-20, before Pedro Molina sealed the win 25-21 in the opening set.
In the second set, the most experienced Caribbean squad continued its solid performance and built an early 6-2 lead. With Pedro Molina’s two consecutive aces and smart plays by setter Arturo Iglesias, Puerto Rico increased in front 16-9 and reached an insurmountable 20-11 score, before they went on to win 25-18.
In the third set, both teams traded points, but Brazil took the lead briefly 12-11 and 19-18. Witalio de Sousa’s ace opened a 2-point lead (22-20) and went on to win 25-21.
The young South American squad kept its momentum and kept the fourth set within reach 14-16. Puerto Rico stayed on top. Its defense and offense proved crucial to keep Brazil at bay 23-19. But Brazil bounced back to tie 25-25. Jonathan Rodriguez and Pelegrin Vargas’ spikes paid the way for the 27-25 set and match victory.
Klistan Lawerence led the winners’ offense with 18 points, followed by Pedro Molina (16) and Jonathan Rodriguez (15). Samuel Carazzai de Morais produced 22 points for Brazil and was supported by captain Arthur Bento with 13.
Puerto Rico and Brazil play in Pool B together with Canada and Mexico.