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11-06-2016

LAS PANTERAS OVERCOME BY PUERTO RICO AT WORLD GRAND PRIX

@LasPanterasARG + @Voley_Feva

PHOTOS

Włocławek, Poland, June 11, 2016 – Puerto Rico gained their fifth victory in a row in Poland, after a long and bumpy game against Argentina 3-1 (30-28, 22-25, 25-16, 25-22). Tomorrow, Sunday, Las Panteras will face Kenya in the last match of the weekend.

The clash of the two teams from America, both qualified to the Olympic Games, was a long journey through rises and falls for both parties. Thanks to a great performance of Karina Ocasio (26 pts, with four blocks and three service aces) Puerto Rico confirmed their good, consistent level before the WGP Final Four. Daly Santana (Puerto Rico, 13 pts) received the organizers’ award for the match’s Most Impressive Player.

After a good game against Poland on Friday, Argentinians started with a passion and tried to keep up with Puerto Rico’s pace. From the first technical time-out the coach Nunez’s players broke away by three points and enlarged their advantage till 20-13. Unfortunately they lost concentration and let Argentina spread their wings in the prolonged ending of the first set. Puerto Rico showed more self-confidence and finally won 30-28.

Start of the second set belonged to team Argentina who leaded 8-4. Emilce Sosa continued her pass on spike and was very helpful in building up the advantage. Daly Santana on the Puerto Rico’s side did not stop her hand and defeated the opponent’s double block, but Argentinians stayed focused and kept the lead till the end at 25-22.

The next part also began well for the “Albicelestes”, who had a two points more at the first break in the third set. Puerto Rico caught them up easily and thanks to Karina Ocasio’s great effort in offence they moved ahead 13-10. Coach Guillermo Orduna was forced to take a time-out for Argentina a moment later, because his team got lost on the court and their rivals easily took a five-point lead. The substitutions did not help and soon Puerto Rico could enjoy their win at 25-16, after a massive kill by Ocasio.

Argentina learned their lesson in the previous part and improved, especially in block, which resulted in 8-4 for them on the first TTO. Their opponents came back to the game and blocked Emilce Sosa’s spikes. Coach Orduna tried to motivate his players at 20-19 for Puerto Rico, but technical faults decided were the decisive factor in the final score of 25-22.

Press Conference:

Puerto Rico stay unbeaten in all their five WGP Group 2 matches. Coach Nunez's players have only one more game to go before Final Four - a rematch against their Polish hosts, with whom they already scored an uneasy victory last weekend.

Juan Carlos Nunez, coach of Puerto Rico: We knew that is was going to be a very hard game, especially if we think about our history with this team. We played against them in the Pan-Am Games last summer, so we knew what to expect today. We were able to stabilise our level, we stretched our defence after weaker part of the game and played more aggressively on the serve. It is important for us to keep going and win with each of our next opponents, because it builds our strength and we need to raise the level of the time. Tomorrow we will play with the hosts, we played against them last weekend, so we know what we can see on the court.

Guillermo Orduna, coach of Argentina: Today Argentina made many mistakes, we didn’t focus enough on Puerto Rico’s serve and we weren't good in reception and played very badly as a result. Tomorrow will be a different match, different story – we have to be focused and show our skills, improving some elements, especially reception and attack and show more diversity in our actions.

Vilmarie Mojica, setter of Puerto Rico: We went in thinking that we are going to win this and qualify for the Final Four, so we tried to do our best and play our game. We had a lot difficulties and we need to fix them before tomorrow. Another game with Poland will be hard for us. They proved this to us last weekend.

Emilce Sosa, captain of Argentina: It was a very bad match for us, so we have to forget about it and focus on tomorrow’s game, which is important for Argentina team. We made too many mistakes today and we have to do our best to avoid them in next match.

Related information:

FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016

FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 - Schedule

FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 - Teams

FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix 2016 - Media Guide

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