David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 29, 2023 – Guatemala defeated Panama 3-1 (25-16, 20-25, 25-17, 25-17) and won its fifth title in the AFECAVOL Central American Men’s Championships with still one match left in the sixth edition of the tournament.
Guatemala has only stumbled once in the six editions of Age-group, which was last year against Nicaragua. Even though they faced tough matches this year, they showed courage to earn victories in games that seemed lost.
With a strong defense that allowed setter Daniel Ralón to distribute the ball effectively to his attackers, Guatemala forged their crown and put the final gem in the fourth set with a convincing 25-17.
José Pablo Pérez was once again the leading attacker for Guatemala with 22 points, and Carlos Caballeros contributed 11. Gherson Ortiz was the top scorer for Panama with 27 points, and Denzel Arboine added 12.
Guatemala had led 50-48 in attacks, 7-5 in blocks and 7-3 in aces, while committing 19 unforced errors compared to Panama’s 31.
Reider Lucas, coach of Guatemala: “This is a very interesting competition; in every country, we have very talented athletes, and they demand that we come well-prepared. This is a competitive tournament, not just participative, and it helps us continue to improve the level of play. In fact, this category is the foundation of the senior national teams. It is played at a high level and is very demanding, with intense rivalry in Central America. We have a bright future; that’s why we give the younger players the opportunity to take on responsibility”.
Javier Lucero, captain of Guatemala: “We dedicate the first photo to our physiotherapist who always accompanies us, for the work he does with us, but this time he couldn’t be here. We are very happy with the result; that’s what we came here for, to be champions, and we continue to collect more gold medals for Guatemala and raise its name high”.