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Panama open with golden set victory over St. Kitts

Panama's Edward Diaz receives during the golden-set victory over St.Kitts and Nevis at the NORCECA Beach Volleyball Continental Cup
Montelimar, Nicaragua, February 16, 2012 – Panama got the better of St. Kitts and Nevis in a golden set while El Salvador saw off Cayman Islands 3-1 to move on to the quarterfinals of the NORCECA Men's Beach Volleyball Continental Cup inter zonal tournament between Central America and the Caribbean at Montelimar Beach Resort in Nicaragua on Thursday.

Panama will now clash with Central America top seeds Costa Rica while El Salvador meet Trinidad and Tobago, the top-seeded country from the Caribbean, in Friday’s quarterfinals. The two other match-ups will see Guatemala take on Jamaica and Bahamas face hosts Nicaragua.

The top four teams from the tournament will then take on the four qualifiers from the Central Zone – Cuba, Canada, Mexico and Puerto Rico – for a place at the London 2012 Olympic Games. That tournament will be held in Nayarit, Mexico from June 19 to 23.

The Panama-A team of Domingo Avila and Edward Diaz won a decisive golden set over Shawn Seabrookes and St. Clair Hodge of St. Kitts and Nevis-A, winning 15-10 to keep their country in the winners’ bracket of the double-elimination tournament.

Seabrookes/Hodge opened the best-of-five contest with a 2-0 (21-14, 21-17) win over Otto Penso/Gilberto Martinez of Panama-B but Avila/Edwards responded with a 2-0 (21-13, 21-13) victory off Carl Collins/Kemoroy Percival of St. Kitts and Nevis-B.

The series was taken to a golden set when Avila/Edwards edged Seabrookes/Hodge 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 15-12) only to see Collins/Percival prevailing 2-1 (21-16, 17-21, 15-11) against Penso/Martinez.

El Salvador-A team Carlos Leiva and David Vargas began the day with a 2-0 (23-21, 21-9) win over Philippe Deslandes and Olney Thompson of Cayman Islands-B while compatriots Luis Morales and Carlos Escobar of El Salvador-B beat Sherin Rankin and Richard Campbell of Cayman Islands-A by score of 2-0 (21-19, 21-13).

Morales/Escobar put El Salvador out of reach with a 2-0 (21-16, 21-16) victory over Deslandes/Thompson while Rankin/Campbell edged Leiva/Vargas 2-1 (21-18, 10-21, 15-12).

In Friday’s action Cayman Islands are scheduled to meet the loser of the series between Guatemala and Jamaica while St. Kitts and Nevis will face the loser of the Bahamas-Nicaragua match.

Thursday’s results
Panama 3, St. Kitts and Nevis 2
SKN-A d. PAN-B 2-0 (21-14, 21-17), PAN-A d. SKN-B 2-0 (21-13, 21-13), PAN-A d. SKN-A 2-1 (21-18, 15-21, 15-12), SKN-B d. PAN-B 2-1 (16-21, 21-17, 15-11), GS: PAN-A d. SKN-A (15-10).
El Salvador 3, Cayman Islands 1
ESA-A d. CAY-B 2-0 (23-21, 21-9), ESA-B d. CAY-A 2-0 (21-19, 21-13), ESA-B d. CAY-B 2-0 (21-16, 21-16), CAY-A d. ESA-A 2-1 (21-18, 10-21, 15-12).

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