Arecibo win Puerto Rican League men's title
Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, January 14, 2013 – League debutants Arecibo Captains were crowned as champions of the Puerto Rican Men’s Superior League by sweeping the Guaynabo Mets in the best-of-seven final series that concluded on Sunday.
The Captains scored a 3-0 (25-19, 25-20, 25-18) victory over the Mets to join Fajardo Cariduros as the only franchises to win the title in their first year.
Guaynabo, playing in their second final series in four years, fell short of claiming a title they last won in 1976.
Hector Soto and Mariem Moreau topped the winners with 15 and 13 points respectively while Joel Otero and Luis Rodríguez added 10 and 9 tallies. Guaynabo’s Jackson Rivera finished with 14 points.
Arecibo held an 11-5 advantage in the blocking department with Otero leading the charts with five. The winners also dominated 5-2 in the serving aces category.
The veteran middle blocker Rodríguez, captain of Arecibo and playing in his twenty-third season, was elected as the Most Valuable Player of the series.
“I am super happy with my first title out of Naranjito,” said Rodriguez, who was signed as a free-agent after being released by his old team. “I feel great with the job of the franchise and very grateful to the management. We rewarded them with the title they wanted so much.”
The championship was very special for Arecibo’s David Aleman, who was recently named as coach of the Puerto Rico Men’s National Team.
“We started this team from scratch and that makes the victory very different and more satisfying,” said Aleman, who also coached Naranjito and Corozal to national titles in the past.
The victory was no less satisfying for the veteran Soto who erased doubts by returning from a shoulder surgery and had a productive season.
“I never was 100 per cent sure about my condition but a paid a lot of dedication and was able to get closer to the level I was before,” Soto said. “ I am very grateful to the team management for believing in me.”