20 Jul 2018

A successful start for Mexico, the second seeds in the Men’s Team event at the XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games in the northern Colombian city of Baranquilla on Thursday 19th July but, in their second encounter of the day, there was somewhat of a surprise in store.

They experienced defeat at the hands of Puerto Rico, the no.5 seeds.

by Ian Marshall, Editor

Represented by Dario Arce, Marcos Madrid and Ricardo Villa, a three-nil win was posted against the Barbados outfit combining Mark Dowell, Tyrese Knight and Marcus Smith; facing Puerto Rico’s Brian Afanador, Daniel Gonzalez and Ricardo Jimenez, a three-one defeat was the end result.

Mainstay of the victory was Brian Afanador who overcame both Dario Arce (11-4, 11-9, 9-11, 11-5) and Ricardo Villa (11-9, 12-10, 11-7) but the star of the show was Daniel Gonzalez.

In the second match of the fixture, he recovered from a two games to nil deficit to beat Marcos Madrid (6-11, 5-11, 11-6, 11-8, 11-8); the player who in 2010, when the Central American and Caribbean Games had been held in the Puerto Rican town of Mayagüez, had won the Men’s Singles title. The contest turned the tide in Puerto Rico’s favour.

Earlier, in their opening fixture of the day, with no changes to the line-up, Puerto Rico had recorded a three-one win in opposition Venezuela’s Cecelio Correa, Alejandro Larez and Marco Navas. In the concluding fixture in the group, Puerto Rico meets Barbados, Mexico opposes Venezuela.

Problems for Mexico; conversely for the top seeds, Cuba, there were no such travails, the initial phase fixtures were completed without defeat. First place in the group was thus reserved.

Represented by Jorge Campos, Livan Martinez and Andy Perreira; a three-nil win was recorded against Guyana’s Shemar Britton, Nigel Bryan and Christopher Franklin, before with the same three players in action, the same margin of victory was secured in opposition to Colombia’s Miguel Aguirre, Julian Ramos and Joaquin Villegas.

Colombia plays Guyana to decide the vital runners up spot; teams finishing in first and second positions in each of the three groups advance to the main draw.

Success for Cuba, it was very similar for the Dominican Republic, the third seeds.  Selecting Samuel Galvez, Emil Santos and Isaac Vila for both contests, a three-nil win was posted against El Salvador’s Julio Calderon, Oliver Mendoza and Oscar Villalta, prior to a three-one win being the outcome in opposition to the Guatemalan trio of Hector Gatica, Kevin Montufar and Heber Moscoso.

The Dominican Republic now meets Panama who select from Omer Avi-Tal, José Miguel Cachafeiro, José Guerra and David Dimas Chock; on the opening day they experienced a three-one defeat at the hands of Guatemala, a three-two reverse when confronting El Salvador. Guatemala meets El Salvador in what could well prove the fixture to determine second place.

Both, the quarter and semi-finals will be played on Friday 20th July, the finals on Saturday 21st July.

2018 Central American & Caribbean Games Daniel Gonzalez

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