Canada Wins Pool B with Victory Over Puerto Rico

 Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA (Aug. 29, 2012) – Canada won Pool B of the NORCECA Men’s Junior Continental Championship by defeating Puerto Rico 25-13, 25-15, 28-30, 25-12 on Wednesday afternoon at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo.

By winning the pool, Canada (3-0) advances directly to Friday’s semifinal round and Puerto Rico (2-1) will challenge Pool A’s third-place team in a quarterfinal match on Thursday.

Canada’s offense was distributed evenly with four players in double-figure scoring and six players with at least seven points. Dany Demyanenko led the way with 16 points and Jarrid Michael Ireland added 15 points in the victory.

Pedro Ramos Fernandez and Giovanni Llinas paced Puerto Rico with 14 points each.

Canada’s net defense produced a 16-5 block margin and limited its errors to 17 in the match to Puerto Rico’s 26. Canada also held a 57-44 attack point advantage with a 57.0 success percent on attacks with Milan Nikic handing out 27 running sets.

Canada used an 11-3 run to establish a 21-11 lead in the opening set en route to winning 25-13 with five blocks. Canada inched its way to a seven-point edge at 20-13 and finished strong with a 25-15 victory. After trailing 13-10, Canada rallied to take the lead at 22-21 with five unanswered points but Puerto Rico earned the first set point at 24-23.

Canada saved three set points before taking the lead at 27-26, only to have Puerto Rico take the lead back at 29-28 after saving two match points and won 30-28. Canada raced to an 8-1 lead in the fourth set and never let up in a 25-12 victory.

“We knew coming into the match it would be a battle with Puerto Rico,” Canada captain Milan Nikic said. “They are a strong team and gave us the battle we expected. Our blocking was good, we were discipline in not reaching. The tournament doesn’t get any easier, and the job is not done.”

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