FIVB Volleyball Men's World Championship 2014

Press release

Puerto Rico and Mexico confirm their condition as favourites

Puerto Rico's Maurice Torres debuted with his national team on Thursday leading the offense with 18 points in the victory over Honduras

Ponce, Puerto Rico, May 22, 2014 – Hosts Puerto Rico and Mexico captured victories in the opening day of the NORCECA Men’s World Championship Qualification Tournament Pool R taking place at Juan “Pachín” Vicens Auditorium.

It took a while for Puerto Rico to get into rhythm but once they got it the home team cruised to an easy 25-22, 25-11, 25-14 victory over Honduras in front of around 1,500 spectators.

On the other hand, Mexico recovered from losing the first set to beat one surprising team of Bahamas 22-25, 25-15, 25-13, 25-21.

Puerto Rico relied on the offense of Maurice Torres, who made his official debut with the national team recording a match-high 18 points. Ezequiel Cruz and Roberto Muñiz contributed 10 and 8 points, respectively, in the winning effort.

Puerto Rican coach David Aleman attributed the slow start to the anxiety of playing the first match of the competition.

“I think the guys were too excited at the start of the match,” Aleman said, “but then we adjusted our game system and the offense ran fluid according to our established plan.”

Torres was elated after his big contribution in his first game with the national team and at their home soil.

“I am very happy for being able to play well and contribute to the triumph,” Torres commented. “Our game progressed with the match but we must continue working until achieving our goal of qualifying to the world championship.”

The athletic team of Bahamas came out strong with potent attacks to take the first set before suffering a streak of errors that combined with the consistency of Mexico.

“There is no doubt that Bahamas showed a lot of progress in their game level and we had to work hard to get the win,” Mexico’s coach Sergio Hernández said. “But at the end of the day we won and I am in calm now.”

Mexico’s captain Carlos Guerra showed disappointment with the kind of performance of his team today.

“First matches are always tough,” Guerra said, “but I am not happy with the way we played. We need to reduce the errors in the next matches.”

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