HAVANA, Cuba, October 8, 2022.- Dominican Republic beat Chile in a match that extended to five sets (15-25, 25-21, 19-25, 25-22, 15-13) and finished fifth place at the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup at Ciudad Deportiva.
The match lasted a little over two hours in which the South Americans attacked more (52-44) and led in serves (8-7), the Caribbeans pressured in blocks (12-7) and in the end finished best. Chile committed three errors less (36-39).
Dominicans most productive player was outside hitter Ronny Molina with 22 tallies, accompanied by Antonio Gomez with 15.
For the opponents Antar Derpich led all scorers with 25 points and Fuentes, also outside hitter, added 16.
José Dante Manon, Dominican coach considered that “with this fifth place it went well for the team we brought, young players with their first competition of the year, we didn’t have preparation matches, two players weren’t able to travel. Today they adjusted better in blocking and serving, that was the difference. A positive participation, the more games and sets they gain more experience and opportunities to perfection their actions. Important when you coach players who are so young”.
Captain Luther Rosario expressed how proud he is of his team, “the first time I’m captain and this is a great group. There are little details we need to work on. Chile is a difficult team, we always are challenged by them, but this time we were able to adjust our blocking better, serve more effectively and we still lack a bit in attacking, nevertheless, we did much better and that helped to victory”.
Iván Villarreal, head coach of Chile, said once again “we are in a process of development, giving opportunities for athletes to compete as much as we can at a national and international level, which we are doing. We must evaluate each players development, which is crucial to design and adjust, taking in consideration the greatest number of players with level to develop”.
17-year-old outside hitter Felipe Valenzuela, said “sixth place is bittersweet and unexpected, because we came with a reinforced team, and we could have done much more to win the games. I am leaving with a lot of f experience, it’s great to face opponents with level, a great experience for me, an under-19 player. I also think the Coliseum is spectacular, a warm and nice atmosphere”.