David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 25, 2023 – Guatemala staged an impressive comeback to defeat the reigning champion, Nicaragua, 3-2 (14-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-13, 16-14) in the closing match of the second day of the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central American Championship at the La Basita Sports Center.
Guatemala recovered from a two-set deficit to debut with a victory, while Nicaragua holds a 1-1 win-loss record, while playing over two hours and thrilling the fans in this city.
José Pablo Pérez led Guatemala’s victory with 30 points, on 27 attacks and 3 blocks. Carlos Caballero and Jason Hernández contributed 14 and 10 points, respectively, to the win.
Evans Solís was Nicaragua’s top scorer with 25 points, including 19 attacks, two blocks, and 4 aces. Lenín Gómez added 11 points.
Guatemala displayed great attacking strength with 64 points compared to Nicaragua’s 44. Nicaragua did better in blocking, 12-11, as well as in serves 6-4. Nicaragua committed fewer unforced errors (24-35).
Guatemala will face Belize at 5:00 p.m. (Panama time), while Nicaragua has the day off.
Reider Lucas, coach of Guatemala: “It was challenging for us to find our rhythm. Four players arrived from Mexico at noon today, and they didn’t train with the team, so it was tough for them initially. Nicaragua set a good pace, and gradually, the guys found their level. It was a great match from both teams; they both gave their all on the court. I’m very proud of my players who never let their guard down despite being down by two sets; that says a lot about them and their determination”.
José Pablo Pérez, top scorer for Guatemala: “Despite the fatigue from the trip, what characterizes Guatemala is the determination we always show, never giving up even when we were down 0-2. Although the situation looked very difficult, we gave it our all and managed to get the result. What we always think and do is not to give up and give everything for our country”.