August 3, 2003- Harry Gomez was instrumental in a five-setter thriller where Venezuela edged the Dominican Republic 3-2 in the nightcap match of the inaugural event of men’s Volleyball tournament of the Pan American Games.
Venezuela won 25-20, 23-25, 26-24, 22-25, 15-10 before a partisan crowd who never expected the local side to put up such a difficult battle to a team who participated in the World League.
The Venezuelans overcame a 4-12 deficit in the crucial third set and emerged winners 26-24.
“Erasing that deficit was a key for us,” said Venezuelan head coach Miguel Cambero. “The experience of the World League was vital for us in order to keep the focus.”
“We didn’t want to play against the Dominican at home with all the fans rooting for them, so taking that one was a big factor.”
In the tie-breaker, Gomez rose to the expectations and delivered as the world class player he is.
“It was the tie-breaker and when the time comes you expect to have to take the responsibility”, he said. “I am very happy to have done the job.”
Gomez had five poweful winning spikes during the tie-breaker and also played an enhancing role with his teammates during the match.
“It is the first time I played against the Dominicans and I can tell you something, here is a team that with the proper training and competitions can play with the best teams,” he said.
Miguel Beato Cruz, the Dominican coach, said: “We lost the match in the third set when we had a great lead, but we made a lotof mistakes and lost the focus, but we also lack experience in the international competition and Venezuela showed that by overcaming the big deficit.”