MEXICALI, Mexico, August 21, 2007.- Puerto Rico defeated USA in five sets for its second victory in Pool G playing for the positions 9-16 of the Boys’ Youth World Championship. The Puerto Ricans won by scores of 25-27, 25-19, 25-21, 18-25, 15-13.
For the second day in a row, the Americans played a five-setter and came out with nothing to show. Less than 24 hours earlier they lost to Mexico.
It was the second victory for the Puerto Ricans which the night before downed the Egypt entry in consecutive sets. They played without the services of Ulises Maldonado, their leading scorer.
Emanuel Batista topped Puerto Rico with 29 points and Sequiel Sanchez and Omar Rivera contributed 17 and 12 points respectively.
For USA, Murphy Troy had 20 points and Bradley Lawson and Carson Clark added 18 and 14 in the losing effort.
The first set was close from the very beginning and the seesaw battle ended with the Americans blocking well enough to get the win.
In the second set, both teams played closely but after a tie at 9-all, Puerto Rico made the adjustments on its blocking and played good floor defence. It was an easy cruise for the Puerto Ricans.
In the third set, it was the same story with teams tied at 11-all. Then, two errors by Batista gave the lead to USA forcing a Puerto Rican time-out. USA continued behind the attacks of Troy and Lawson and extended the lead to 18-12. It was time for Puerto Rico to make a huge comeback behind a 5-0 rally in route to a 25-21 triumph.
The combination of Lawson and Clark added to the high American wall for an easy 25-18 victory in the fourth set, forcing the tie-breker.
Puerto Rico jumped to a 4-1 advantage in the fifth set when the Americans called for a time-out. USA tied the score at 6-all, but some outstanding plays by libero Dennis del Valle provided Puerto Rico the opportunity to attack consistently and at 14-13 won with a spike of Sanchez.