David, Chiriquí, Panama, September 24, 2023 – Kaelen Ingram with 28 points, led Belize to a 3-1 (25-16, 25-18, 21-25, 25-19) victory against Costa Rica, in the opening match of the VI AFECAVOL Men’s U23 Central American Championship at La Basita Sports Center.
Ingram was unstoppable with 24 points on sattack, 3 in blocking, and one ace, joined by Ernest Broaster, who contributed 19 points, and Eleazar Mejía with 18. Yulius Brown scored 21 points for Costa Rica.
Belize led in attacks 66-37, blocks 9-4, and service 7-5, although they committed 32 errors compared to 14 from Costa Rica.
Belize will play its second match on Monday against El Salvador at 2:30 p.m. (Panama time), and Costa Rica will face Honduras at 5:00 p.m.
Albert Humes, coach of Belize: “I feel very good; thanks to this victory, we feel more confident for the upcoming matches. I think we had some doubts at the beginning because not the entire team had trained together, but then the players showed what they had trained for, and everything went well”.
Kaelen Ingram, top scorer of Belize: “I feel very good about coming to the tournament; it’s the first time I’ve met the entire team but getting to know each other and seeing what they’ve learned is completely different. Half of the team is in the United States, and the other half is in Belize, but when we play, we do it very well. This was like my first practice with the entire team, but we came with a sharp mindset that we were here for victory”.
Johan Morales, coach of Costa Rica: “We knew about the strength of the Belizean team; historically, they have been like that. There was a work plan that the boys didn’t follow, and for many, as it was their first playing for the national team, nerves got the best of them. Now, we need to correct things because we haven’t lost our chances for medals. It’s only the first game, and we need to focus on tactics and fix the reception, which was terrible today”.