Brazil first, T&T last in Pan Am Cup
BRAZIL were crowned champions for the second time in three years and Trinidad and Tobago brought up the rear when the curtain fell on the Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup Saturday night in Mexico.
After losing their three matches in the round-robin group phase of the tournament, T&T failed to avoid the cellar position in the seven-nation tournament when they were beaten 25-17, 25-19, 25-14 in just over an hour by Dominican Republic.
Elvis Contreras, who led Technocrats to the title and was the Most Valuable Player in the Caribbean League in Trinidad a few months ago, was virtually unstoppable as he notched 30 points for the winners to become only the fourth player in the eight-year history of the tournament to score as least 30 in a single game.
Simon Blake, who has represented T&T in a few NORCECA (North, Central America and the Caribbean) beach volleyball tournaments this year, led his team with 11 points.
Brazil defeated Mexico 25-21, 25-20, 25-17 in 78 minutes for the title after they had halted Puerto Rico 25-13, 25-19, 29-27 in the semi-finals the night before.
The Puerto Ricans had produced the most significant victory in the history of the tournament the night before when they stunned defending champs the United States 16-25, 25-16, 26-28, 27-25, 18-16 in the quarter-finals.
In their six other appearances in this tournament the Americans had been crowned champs on five occasions and finished runners-up to Brazil the other time – in 2011.
But Puerto Rico still did not end up with a medal as they were edged 25-18, 22-25, 25-18, 20-25, 15-12 by Argentina for the bronze.
The South Americans had been beaten 25-21, 27-25, 12-25, 25-21 by Mexico in the semis after their 25-17, 25-19, 25-22 triumph over Dominican Republic.
The United States whipped Dominican Republic 25-17, 25-19, 25-14 for fifth place.