Belize overcomes a resilient Panama

MANAGUA, Nicaragua, September 8, 2023 – Belize struggled to defeat Panama 3-0 (25-19, 28-26, 25-21) and secure their second victory in the XXII AFECAVOL Women’s Senior Central American Cup.

Panama fought hard in each set but failed to finish strongly, and Belize capitalized on their strong serving and net presence to secure the result, also taking advantage of their opponents’ errors.

Panama led in attacks 42-30 and in serves 7-6, but they committed 37 unforced errors, while Belize committed 15 and led in blocks 5-2.

Nelissa Ramírez was Belize’s top scorer with 11 points, while Hashlyn Cuero scored 12 for Panama.

On Saturday, Panama (0-2) faces Honduras (2-0) at 4:00 p.m., and Belize (2-1) has the day off.



José Fontes, coach of Belize: “To be honest, I’m not very happy with the game; there are things we need to improve, and today we weren’t very effective. We also gave playing time to some non-regular players; our main setter is injured, and we wanted to see if she was fit to continue in the tournament. We need to keep improving to have more options in the tournament”.

Clara Sabal, libero of Belize: “I feel like we fought hard, and I’m glad that we were able to close the match in the end. We made many minor mistakes between the sets, but I’m glad that our team could come together and finish with the victory. I think we underestimated Panama, and that tends to happen a lot, so it was good that we decided to work hard, and I think our defense and reception were the best”.

Jenny Madrid, coach of Panama: “This is a process in which we go step by step, and we have made progress. We lack preparation and exposure, and as we progress in the tournament, we will improve. Today, we made some adjustments, and they worked; we kept the opponent under control, but in the closings, we couldn’t make the points”.