Puerto Rico Advances to the U17 Pan American Cup Final Over Canada

COLIMA, Mexico, June 21, 2024.- Puerto Rico advanced to the Boys U17 Pan American Cup  final after defeating Canada 3-1 (25-20, 22-25, 25-23, 25-20) on Friday’s semifinals in Colima, Mexico.

On Saturday, Puerto Rico will face the winner between Mexico and Cuba in the gold medal match. Canada will compete for the bronze medal against the losing team.

Puerto Rico led in attack points (55-44) and aces (7-3), while Canada held advantage in blocks (17-13). Canada also conceded fewer points on errors (22-25).

Puerto Rico

Gustavo Alvarez of Puerto Rico led all scorers with 26 points, on 24 kills, one block, and one ace. Outside hitter Adrián Carrillo contributed 14 points on 10 attacks, one block, and three aces. Middle blocker Dylan López scored 12 points, including 8 attacks, 3 blocks, and one  ace. Middle blocker Jorge Suarez added 6 points from blocks.

Canadian captain Tyson Dezuter led his team with 19 points on 13 attacks and 6 blocks. Outside hitter Seth Brunoro registered 11 points on 8 attacks and 3 blocks. Middle blocker Brayden Long also tallied 11 points, with 5 attacks, 4 blocks, and 2 aces.

In the first set, Puerto Rico managed to pull ahead by reaching the 20-point mark, closing it with an ace from setter Yael De Jesús. In the second set, Canada surged to a 4-1 lead, capitalizing on a Puerto Rico error and three consecutive blocks. Canada tied the match when Puerto Rico missed a serve (23-22), followed by a block from Brayden Long on Jorge Suarez. Key contributions from Maximiliano Aponte, Adrián Carrillo, and Jorge Suarez helped Puerto Rico secure the third set. Despite a comeback by Canada in the fourth set from a 14-19 deficit, which included an ace by Brayden Long, a block by Liam Ulrich, and kills by Brunoro and Clarmo, Puerto Rico scored three consecutive points to clinch the victory.

Puerto Rico’s coach, Carlos De Sevilla, remarked, “Credits to Canada; they are a tall and very strong team. I trusted my players because they have always shown resilience under pressure. We played a tremendous match and had a good result. Now it’s time to rest and fight until the end tomorrow”.