Mexico overcomes pressure from Guatemala for first win at NORCECA Men’s Final Four

PONCE, Puerto Rico, June 15th, 2024. Mexico had to battle a motivated Guatemala to get the win in the NORCECA Men’s Final Four at Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico. Mexico defeated Guatemala with scores 27-25, 25-23, 25-17.

This is the first victory for Mexico (1-1) in this tournament while Guatemala records two defeats (0-2).


Mexico started a solid 4-0 lead on the first set, but Guatemala began getting confidence point by point and tied the set 9-9. The set was tight all the way to the end but two blocks from Mexico closed the set in extra points 27-25. Mexico and Guatemala battled the second set, but errors from Guatemala gave the advantage to Mexico up to 4 points mid set (20-16).  Guatemala kept fighting and with two attacks and an ace tied set 23-23. Two errors gave the set to Mexico 25-23. Determined to finish the game in three sets, Mexico came back strong and started pressuring with their serve-attack combination which Guatemala was not able to overcome. The set ended 25-17 for Mexico.

Mexico led in kills 39-32, blocks 8-6 and serves 9-3 but also committed more errors than Guatemala, 24-21.

Best scorers for Mexico were captain and outside hitter Mauro Fuentes with 14 points (11 kills, 1 block and 2 aces) and Franky Hernández Milantony with 10 points (6 kills, 1 block and 3 aces). For Guatemala José Pérez was the top scorer with 14 points (12 kills, 1 block and ace).

Yasutaka Sanay Heredia MEX

Mexico setter – Edgar Mendoza: playing with Guatemala is always a difficult game since they have a very different game system and adapting to their game is complicated if you get carried away with their rhythm. We came from a process of changes in the players and technical team. We have been working well on the games, technical-tactical things, but we must have more confidence in ourselves. Tomorrow against Puerto Rico, they play at home, and we know they are strong but we have to come and give 100%.

Guatemala Setter – Adan Ruano: We are happy with what we are doing but it is a little frustrating to be fighting and not be able to close the sets as we would like. We are always happy to be in these type of tournaments, competing with people who are used to playing on other continents. We lacked a bit of grit to close the sets, our team has been training a little and we must finish getting together to be able to close the sets. Tomorrow we are going to go out to fight with everything like we have done since the beginning.