by Ian Marshall, Editor
Determined, the trio comprising Gremlis Arvelo, Neridee Niño and Camila Obando responded to the challenge but it was close. There were tense moments.
In their concluding group phase fixture they beat Guatemala’s Lucia Cordero, Mabelyn Enriquez and Andrea Estrada in a full distance five match contest, the star of the show being Neridee Niño. In the vital concluding match of the engagement, she accounted for Andrea Estrada in a four games contest (11-5, 7-11, 11-6, 11-7).
The win for Neridee Niño came after Gremlis Arvelo had beaten Lucia Cordero (12-10, 11-7, 11-5) and had partnered Camila Obando to doubles success against Lucia Cordero and Andrea Estrada (7-11, 13-11, 11-9, 11-3).
Success by a narrow margin, a place in the main draw, with no changes to the selection, the Venezuelans went from strength to strength. At the quarter-final stage they recorded a three-one win against El Salvador’s Emme Arias, Monica Mendoza and Estefania Ramirios, before reserving their place in the final courtesy of a three-nil success in opposition to the Colombian outfit formed by Manuela Echeverry, Paula Medina and Luisa Zuluaga.
Meanwhile, in the opposite half of the draw; a direct entry to the semi-final as a result of finishing in first place in their initial stage group, Puerto Rico reserved their place in the final. However, for Adriana Diaz, Melanie Diaz and Daniely Rios it was not without some moments of concern. The Cuban selection of Lisi Castillo, Idalys Lovet and Lizdainet Rodriguez proved most worthy adversaries penultimate round opponents.
A three matches to two win was the end result with Adriana Diaz the backbone of the Puerto Rican victory; she accounted for both Idalys Lovet (13-11, 11-7, 11-2) and Lizdainet Ridriguez (11-5, 11-4, 8-11, 11-3). The one further success for the victors was recorded in the opening match of the fixture when Melanie Diaz accounted for Lisi Castillo (9-11, 11-7, 11-3, 11-7).
The final will be played on Saturday 21st July, commencing at 5.00pm (local time). Puerto Rico start as hot favourites; in the group stage of play, they beat Venezuela by three matches to nil.