Puerto Rico Wins Bronze in Five Thrilling Sets against Canada

PONCE, Puerto Rico, May 19, 2024. – Puerto Rico won the bronze medal in five thrilling sets, 3-2 (23-25, 25-20, 25-20, 20-25, 15-9), against Canada in the Boys U19 NORCECA Continental Championship at the Salvador Dijols Coliseum in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

The host, Puerto Rico, finished the championship with a 4-1 record, while Canada ended with a 2-4 record.

Puerto Rico dominated in blocks with a comfortable 14-8 margin; however, Canada outperformed in attacks 61-56 and service points 7-1. Puerto Rico benefited from 37 Canadian errors while committing 23.

Jean Paul Gonzalez PUR

Puerto Rico’s offensive attack was led by Jean Paul with 23 points from 22 attacks and one block, followed by outside hitter Gustavo Alvarez with 20 points from 17 attacks and 3 blocks. Adrian Carrillo also contributed to the victory with 10 points from 8 attacks, one block, and one ace. Middle blocker Fernando Castello scored a match-high of 6 points from blocks.

The top scorer of the match was Canadian Reuben Veith with 27 points from 25 attacks, one block, and one ace. Opposite Luke Wright finished with 16 points, and outside hitter Tyson Dezutter added 14 more points.

In the first set, Canada took an early 10-6 lead, but Puerto Rico managed to tie the score at points 21 to 23. Reuben Veith, with an attack point and a service ace, put Canada ahead.

With the support of their home crowd, Puerto Rico jumped to an early lead in both the second and third sets, with middle blocker Fernando Castello closing both sets with block points.

The lead shifted in the fourth and Canada managed to push the match to a tie-break scoring four consecutive points from Puerto Rico’s errors and attacks by Aiden Vandenheuvel and Luke Wright. Puerto Rico dominated the fifth set with the offense efforts of Adrian Carrillo and Gustavo Alvarez.

Carlos De Sevilla, Head coach of Puerto Rico: “I am very satisfied and happy. I give the credit for the medal to the boys who played under pressure in their homeland and performed as they did. In the fifth set, I told them at point 12 that they had worked hard for those last three points, and to fight for them. It is a spectacular bronze medal with a group that is two years below this category”.

Adrián Carrillo, Outside Hitter for Puerto Rico: “We worked hard and gave it our all on the court. We worked as a team, and I think that was the key to winning the bronze medal”.