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Argentina claim historic men’s volleyball gold at Pan American Games

Argentina claimed gold at the Pan American Games in Toronto, Canada, by defeating Brazil in the tiebreaker.
Toronto, Canada, July 26, 2015 – After a 20-year gold medal drought, Argentina claimed the top spot at the Pan American Games after a thrilling 3-2 (25-23, 18-25, 19-25, 25-23, 15-8) win over South American rivals Brazil at the Toronto Exhibition Centre on Sunday.

Facundo Conte top scored for Argentina with 23 points.

Argentina started to exploit on the weakness of the Brazil utilising their best weapons - their feisty serves and tight blocks and digs – that allowed them to get a five-point advantage 8-3. Brazil only found Renan Buiatti’s offence useful in the set, but the Argentine capitalised on Luciano De Cecco’s creative playmaking skills that allowed Conte to make an assault on the Brazilian defence that led to a 16-13 advantage for the Argentines 16-13 in the second technical timeout.

After a terrific 25-23 win in the first set, Argentina lost concentration in the second set, allowing Brazil to prevail in the second and third sets with their usually prolific attack game. 

Brazil held the lead 16-9 in the fourth set, as Argentina struggled to return in fighting form. With the gold medal nearly in their pockets, the Brazilians lost its grip as Argentina’s Sebastian Sole enforced on solid blocking against their opponents. Brazil somehow managed to retain the lead but Argentina clawed back and snatched the lead 24-23 from an ace by Martin Ramos. Luciano Zornetta, who came off the bench, secured the set for Argentina with an outstanding block 25-23.

Argentina rallied to an 8-5 lead in the tiebreaker as Brazil seemed to have lost its grip on defence against their opponents. De Cecco added another point to double the Argentine lead 12-6, then Conte scored the first match ball but Brazil saved another point. However, Murilo Radke’s trip to the service line resulted to a dull error that gave set and match to Argentina 15-8.

“After 30 years outside Argentina, I feel I could give something back to my country’s volleyball,” Argentina coach Julio Velasco said. “It is great for this young group of players and now we are ready for Rio 2016.”


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