TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 12, 2022.- Puerto Rico won another five-set match in their second victory at the Men’s NORCECA Final Six Pan Am Cup, defeating Dominican Republic 3-2 (25-20, 25-22, 32-34, 22-25, 15-12) at the Amado Nervo Auditorium of Tepic, Nayarit.
Puerto Rico also beat Mexico in five sets on Monday to stand with a 2-0 record and Dominican Republic drops to 0-2.
Dominican Republic had a remarkable recovery coming from a two-set deficit and snatching the third set in an extended 34-32 while Puerto Rico lost 8 match points to close in three sets.
Puerto Rico held a 72-68 advantage in attacks and a slim 13-12 margin in blocks, Dominicans did better in the service line with a 6-4 advantage. Dominican Republic committed one less unforced error than Puerto Rico (24-25).
Four players from each team scored double-digits. Puerto Rico with outside hitters Klistan Vidal (25), Pedro Molina (24), Peligrin Vargas (18) and middle blocker Angel Rivera (12). On Dominican Republic’s side, outside hitter Henry López (20), opposite hitter Henry Tapia (18), outside hitter Hector Cruz (12) and middle blocker Felix Romero (10) who led in blocks with 6 points.
On day three of the event, Puerto Rico faces the United States and the Dominican Republic goes up against Mexico.
Pedro Molina, Outside hitter of Puerto Rico: “It was a difficult match, we always have great performance against the Dominican Republic, they are an excellent team. We have improved, we have grown to reach today’s victory. We have all worked a lot and we are prepared for tomorrow’s match, after two matches in five sets it’s important for us to recover physically”.
Henry Tapia, Captain of Dominican Republic: “This match was more open, one on one, in comparison from yesterday that we had a lower performance. Sometimes it’s not the level of play but the floor, the light, several factors influence one’s performance to execute and score. Tomorrow we are forced to win”.
Oswald Antonetti, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We are coming with a project that is relatively new, there are several players debuting in this tournament. We are glad and cautious about the next matches, but happy to work. Dominican Republic is an organized team, and they changed their game plan, it’s part of the strategy of the game; we came out with the victory and it’s important to prepare for tomorrow”.