David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 25, 2023 – El Salvador managed to recover after losing the first set and overcome a three-point deficit in the fourth set to defeat Belize 3-1 (12-25, 25-23, 25-22, 25-22) on the second day of the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central American Championship at the La Basita Sports Center.
Belize was dominant in the first set, establishing an overwhelming lead over El Salvador, scoring five aces and three blocking points. From the second set onward, things changed, with Belize committing 10 unforced errors and limited to just one block, without scoring points on service. In the third set, El Salvador led the attack, just as they did in the fourth set when they rallied from being down 18-21 to finish with a 25-22 victory.
El Salvador led the attack 49-48. Belize performed better in blocking 9-2 and in serving 8-3, but they committed 33 unforced errors compared to 27 from El Salvador.
Julio Hunter scored 18 points, followed by Abner Cano with 15 for El Salvador. Kaelen Ingram from Belize was the top scorer of the match with 22 points, accompanied by Kervin Palacio with 13 points and Ernest Broaster with 12.
El Salvador will play against Honduras on Tuesday at 2:30 p.m. (Panama Time), and Belize will face Guatemala at 5:00 p.m.
Andrea Genova, coach of El Salvador: “The fatigue from the first day was important because it didn’t allow the boys to concentrate. Today, we were more relaxed, more rested, and we found some changes that went in our favor during the game. Now, it’s evident that we’re a better team, as we didn’t have much training this year. Our team is good, and we know we have a lot to develop, but it’s a matter of gaining confidence and reacting”.
Abner Cano, captain of El Salvador: “We feel happy, proud of what we’ve accomplished because we improved a lot compared to the first game, and we enjoyed the match. We came with the desire to win, and we showed it on the court. The team couldn’t quite click at first, but then we did, and we turned it into a good match”.
Albert Humes, coach of Belize: “We have to go back to the drawing board and try to make the players understand the importance of every point in the game. It wasn’t that the other team was better in serving or attacking; it was our focus on the game. El Salvador scouted us well, and our team couldn’t recover quickly. The sets were close, and at the last moment, we got nervous. The lack of matches to get our team in good shape and better prepared was evident in this game”.