Argentina and USA to play for Men’s Pan Am Cup title
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, July 13, 2012 – Argentina and United States are set to play for the gold medal of the VII Men’s Pan American Cup that concludes at The Volleyball Palace in Santo Domingo on Saturday.
Both teams survived two five-set grueling matches with Argentina outdueling Brazil and United States overcoming hosts Dominican Republic in Friday’s semifinals.
Brazil and Dominican Republic are to clash for the bronze medal. Saturday’s schedule presents also the matches of Canada against Mexico for fifth place and Venezuela versus Trinidad & Tobago for seventh position.
In the first semifinal, Argentina held off a strong reaction from Brazil and will play for the title on Saturday following a dramatic five-set victory (25-20, 25-17, 27-25, 18-25, 15-13). The offense of the winning squad was led by Maximiliano Gauna (18), Gonzalo Quiroga (16) and Gonzalo Lapera (13), while Mauricio Borges (18) and Tiago Barth (16) stood out for Brazil.
“Brazil is a school we always look at and to play against them is of great motivation,” Argentina’s coach Fabian Muraco said. “My boys had to play at more than one hundred percent and took advantage of every chance from the opponent.”
In the other semifinal, United States overcame Dominican Republic in a nail-biting battle of five sets (25-21, 23-25, 25-22, 25-27, 15-12) to advance to the gold medal against Argentina.
Taylor Sander with 22 points topped the Americans, followed by Murphy Troy (15) and Antonio Ciarelli (10). Dominicans Elvis Contreras and José Miguel Cáceres with 28 and 24 points respectively were the best scorers of the match. Elnis Palomino and Wilfrido Hernández had 10 apiece.
“They are a different team than the one I saw in California,” USA Coach Shawn Patchell said. “Especially we struggled with their difficult serves. Caceres and Contreras have elevated their game.”
In other matches:
Canada defeated Venezuela in three sets (25-18, 28-26, 25-20) and now are set to battle with Mexico and the fifth place. Christopher Hoag (12), Dane Pischke (11) and Luke VanBerkel (10), were the best scorers for Canada, while Venezuela’s Kevin Piñerua totaled 18 for the best in the game. Hector Salerno followed with 10 points.
Mexico defeated Trinidad and Tobago in straight sets (25-19, 25-14 and 25-14) in just 64 minutes to advance to the fifth place match. Daniel Vargas scored 13 points to be the best of the winners whil Marc Honore had 11 for the losers.