Mayaguez, Puerto Rico, July 29, 2010 – Two-time defending champions Puerto Rico and Venezuela will dispute the men’s Volleyball gold medal at the XXI Central American Games on Thursday as both sides continue to warm up for this year’s FIVB World Championship in Italy.
In Wednesday action, Puerto Rico out dueled the Dominican Republic in a thrilling four-set battle while Venezuela vanquished Mexico in straight sets. Elsewhere, Panama prevailed in a five-set battle against Trinidad & Tobago for the fifth position.
While Puerto Rico have won the last two editions (2002 and 2006) in El Salvador and Colombia, and also triumphed in Panama (1938), Venezuela has been unsuccessful in four tries (1959, 1966, 1970 and 1978) at the gold.
"We have been improving with the tournament but we are not completely satisfied with our performance," Puerto Rican Hector "Picky" Soto said.
"Our task since we got here is to win the gold," Venezuelan Harry Gomez added. "Young and veterans in this team are committed with that goal."
Puerto Rico v Dominican Republic
Puerto Rico scored a 3-1 (25-21, 25-27, 25-23, 25-22) victory over the Dominican Republic advancing to a clash against Venezuela for the gold medal. Hector Soto starred for Puerto Rico with 23 points to lead four players in double digits. Jose Rivera and Enrique Escalante compiled 13 points and Luis Rodriguez added 10 to the winning cause. Dominicans Elnis Palomino and Jose Caceres recorded 23 and 20 points respectively and Pedro Garcia contributed 13.
Venezuela v Mexico
Venezuela scored a convincing straight-sets victory (25-21, 25-21, 25-16) over Mexico to advance to the men’s Volleyball gold medal match. The Venezuelans dominated in the game at the net with a 15-5 advantage in blocks and established an 8-2 gap in serving aces. Ivan Marquez was the best scorer for the winning side with 14 points, including three aces. Maximo Montoya and Harry Gomez each charted 13 points with four and two blocks respectively, and Luis Diaz added eight. Mexican Jose Martell topped his side with eight points while Iván Contreras and Samuel Cordova registered seven apiece.
Panama v Trinidad & Tobago
Panama finished in the fifth position after scoring a 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 22-25, 15-12) victory over Trinidad & Tobago on Wednesday. The defeated side had the advantage in blocks (18-9) and aces (6-2) but gave away 45 points with errors against 26 by the winners.
Domingo Avila led Panama with 17 points while Otto Penso and Edward Diaz recorded 15 and 14 respectively. Trinidadian Nolan Tash, the leading scorer of the tournament, scored 26 points. Marc-Anthony Honore added 19 and Sean Morrison and Christian Francois compiled 11 apiece.
FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
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