MEXICALI, Mexico, August 22, 2007.- For third night in a row, Mexico needed five sets to get a victory but the host team provided some joy to the supporting local crowd by edging Puerto Rico 15-25, 23-25, 26-24, 25-20, 19-17 and finished first in Pool G of the round for 9-16 places.
Francisco Enriquez led Mexico with 23 points and Martin Petris and Leonardo Manzo added 18 and 11 respectively. Emanuel Batista (18), Sequiel Sanchez (17) and Omar Rivera (13) topped Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico led at the pauses (16-10) of the first set aided by the good offence led by Sequiel Sanchez and Omar Rivera while Mexico had in Francisco Enriquez its best performer. Sanchez continued to hammer and Puerto Rico expanded the distance to 22-12 and ended up winning 25-14 with a couple of spikes produced by Carlos Hernandez.
Mexico took an 8-7 lead in the second set behind Manzo and Yepez. The host team stretched the margin to 16-12 at the second technical time-out with the tandem of Manzo and Yepez continuing their assault. Then Puerto Rico made one spectacular comeback behind the blocking and setting of Jesus Martinez coming off the bench and won 25-23 with one ace by Martinez and a block by Hernandez.
Puerto Rico led at both pauses with Agosto and Batista carrying the load of the offence but Mexico was not about to about to quit and emerged with renovated strength and tied at 15-all. The score remained close and at 24-all Enriquez blocked and spiked for the 26-24 Mexican win.
Puerto Rico led at both technical time-outs 8-7 and 16-15 in a tough battle featuring a personal war of spikes between Mexican Enriquez and Puerto Rican Batista. Then Mexico sparked a 4-0 rally and led the rest of the way.
In the tie-breaker, Mexico took the early lead but Puerto Rico developed an effective floor defence inspired by libero Dennis del Valle and led 8-6 when teams traded sides. The Puerto Ricans were on the verge of the victory leading 14-10, but the host team made a huge comeback on the shoulders of Enriquez and Petris to tie at 14-all. Finally, with Mexico ahead 18-17, Petris blocked one killing attempt of Batista for the victory.