Tuesday, August 14, 2018
Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Suriname New Men’s CAZOVA champs

PARIMARIBO, Suriname, August 14 – There was sheer pandemonium here tonight at the Ismay Van Wilgen Sporthal when Suriname took the last point to strike gold for the first time in the 27-year history of in the Men’s CAZOVA (Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Association) Championships.

The venue was packed to capacity and many of the jubilant fans stormed the floor when their team completed the historic 25-20, 13-25, 25-22, 25-23 triumph over Bahamas in the final of the 17th edition of the tournament.

Suriname had been forced to settle for the silver medal the other three times they found themselves in this position, beginning right here in the inaugural competition in 1991 when the only team involved was Netherland Antilles.

The hosts clearly possessed more fireworks than any of the other four teams involved this time, but they were also the most erratic bunch, and the question was would they have been able to put everything together with the added pressure of playing in front of their home fans to go all the way.

The answer was an emphatic year, and although they committed many careless errors as usual and played the worse set of the tournament in the second set tonight, their brilliance more than compensated for their shortcomings.

And on the topic of brilliance, their awesome strike trio of Keven Sporkslede (20), Zefano Breinburg (16), and Gino Naarden (16) lit up the scoreboard again.

But Princtanique Wilson, Byron Ferguson II and Renaldo Knowles were also impressive with 13, 14 and 15 points for Bahamas.

The 2012 champs actually had the slight (50-49) edge in kills and service winners (3-2), but Suriname led 12-8 in blocked shots in the 103-minute contest.

Their Cuban coach Sergio Valdes stated: “I have never seen the players more focused. My ten years of hard work here has paid off.”

And captain Casey Foe A Man said: “I feel proud to lead my team into history.”

“We just fell short. The breaks didn’t go our way.” said Bahamas coach Lloyd Davis and his captain Wilson noted that “we made too many mental errors.”

Bahamas won three of their five matches in the tournament, but lost both times against Suriname, including their classic during the round-robin stage on Sunday night which not only went five sets by was the longest match of the competition.

That two hour-29 minute contest finished after 1 a.m. and when the Suriname squad returned to court the night after they faded and were beaten for the only time by Trinidad and Tobago.

However the two-time defending champs had to settle for the silver, while ten-time champs Barbados were fourth and the winless Haiti brought up the rear.




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