Canada defeated Mexico 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 29-27) to win the bronze medal match of the XI Men’s Pan American Cup on May 26 at the Olympic Gymnasium Juan de la Barrera in Mexico City.
Canada’s last Pan Am Cup medal in 2011 was also a bronze. Canada and Mexico also secured a place in next year’s FIVB World League.
Canada’s towering block dominated Mexico with 12-3 advantage; and Canada was also better in serves 8-2 and in kills 37-32. Canada committed 30 errors and Mexico 22.
Canada’s top scorers were Ryley Barnes and Stephen Maar with 16 points apiece, followed by Braden Mclean with 11 points. Courtenay’s Brad Gunter was also in the Canadian lineup. With 14 points, Jorge Barajas was Mexico’s only player with double digits.
“Mexico started to make awesome plays (in the third set), making it difficult for us, with points going back and forth; it was a pretty fun battle to be a part of,” said Canada’s team captain Brett Walsh.
Coach Georges Laplante said: “I am very pleased the way we played tonight, we made variations in our line-up, giving a chance to other players like Ryley Barnes who made a big difference tonight. We were expecting a tough match because Mexican players always fight hard. They pushed us a lot in the end and it could have gone either way.”
Mexico’s coach Jorge Azair said: “I’m satisfied, it would have been nice to win a medal, but we must close this chapter. I’m glad because we reached our goal of a good preparation for the pre-Olympic (tournament). There is much to evaluate.”
Argentina defeated Canada 3-1 (34-32, 24-26, 25-22, 25-22) in a tough clash on Wednesday to reach the final against Cuba. Cuba ended up the overall winner after a five-set battle to close the competition Thursday evening in Mexico.
Report by NORCECA . Results : www.norceca.net