Mexico upset hosts Puerto Rico on Sunday sealing a spot in the 24-team FIVB Men's World Championship in Poland
Ponce, Puerto Rico, May 25, 2014 – Mexico captured a berth to the FIVB Men’s World Championship in Poland by defeating hosts Puerto Rico 25-23, 25-21, 25-23 in the NORCECA Pool R Qualification Tournament at Juan “Pachín” Vicens Auditorium on Sunday.
The victory of the Mexican side came as a surprise since the Puerto Ricans had dominated the preliminary round match between the two teams on Friday in consecutives frames 25-13, 25-20, 25-19 on Friday.
Daniel Vargas was the main scoring weapon for the winners with 18 points while team’s captain Carlos Guerra contributed 12. Maurice Torres led Puerto Rico with 14 points and Ezequiel Cruz had 9 in the loss.
In spite of making 34 errors to 25 by Puerto Rico, the winners held a 10-3 margin in the blocking category and blanked the opponents 3-0 in the aces charts.
“I never imagined winning the way we did it against a team like Puerto Rico and at home” Mexico’s coach Sergio Hernández said. “The guys did the job and we accomplished our goal.”
“It was not our best game and Mexico played very well making all the adjustments after the first match between us,” Puerto Rican David Aleman said.
Mexico join United States, Canada and Cuba as NORCECA teams with berths in Poland as winners of third-round continental tournaments.
Puerto Rico will join teams of Dominican Republic, Guatemala and Costa Rica in a final playoff to take place in July to determine NORCECA’s fifth and final team in the 24-country FIVB Men’s World Championship.
In the other match on Sunday, Bahamas beat Honduras in straight sets (25-15, 25-19, 25-23) in the match for the third place in tournament.
Renaldo Knowles and Byron Ferguson each contributed 15 points in the victory with the latter totaling 4 blocks. Prince Tanique Wilson added 11 points.
Ornello Watler led Honduras with 11 points while Evans Torres and Jorge Medina registering 8 apiece.