Caguas, Puerto Rico, July 9, 2009 - Hosts Puerto Rico and Mexico recorded easy victories in the opening day of the Norceca-G third round men’s tournament of the FIVB World Championship at Hector Sola Bezares Coliseum.
Supported by around 2,000 spectators, the home team needed only 60 minutes to defeat U.S. Virgin Islands by score of 25-12, 25-16, 25-13, while Mexico scored a 25-21, 25-15, 25-15 over Barbados.
The first day’s winners are expected to clash on Friday for the single ticket available to the Final Round of the World Championship in Italy next year.
Hector Soto led Puerto Rico with 11 points including four service aces and Jose Rivera and Victor Rivera added 8 and 7 points to the victory. Gustavo Cintron and Jelani Richards each tallied seven points in the losing cause.
"We could have played better and I think we have to strengthen our blocking," said Soto, the captain of Puerto Rico. "But we can continue working day by day and be ready for the big match of Friday. We only have to work on some details."
Jason Liburd, the coach of U.S. Virgin Islands said "this event is one where our team will get a lot of experience with each match."
The Mexicans, who arrived to this stage of the competition by winning the Norceca-D tournament in Jamaica, had Carlos Guerra as their top scorer with 15 points while Gustavo Meyer notched nine tallies. Barbados was led by the seven points of Fabian Cox.
Ignacio Ramirez, the captain of Mexico admitted his team got complicated in the first set with many faults in the service reception.
"They gave us problems with our reception, mainly in the first set. But we could make the adjustments and I am pretty sure that our game will improve with every match."