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Simon Blake had a match-high 19 points as T&T senior volleyball men took the bronze medals in their NORCECA’s Third Round World Championship Qualification Men Pool Q Tournament after overcoming Central American champions Panama, 25-19, 26-28, 25-20, 25-19 at the Hershey Centre, Mississauga, Ontario, Toronto, yesterday.
Blake’s tally included 16 kills, one block and two aces to lead four T&T players in double-figure scoring while France-based Ryan Stewart had 17, comprising of 14 kills and three blocks in the 75-minutes win, the first in four matches in the tournament for their team to end their involvement on a high.
Portugal-based Marc-Anthony Honore added 13, nine of which were kills and four aces while Akim Bushe had 11, seven of which were attacks, three blocks and one ace for the winners.
Veteran national captain Nolan Tash chipped in with eight points for T&T while setter Saleem Ali was the other local player to get among the points with three, in the four-sets win, which avenged a 28-26, 23-25, 20-25, 19-25 loss to the same opponents in their final round-robin on Sunday.
Edward Diaz had the hot hands for Panama yesterday with 16 points, Domingo Avila got nine, and the duo of Carlos Zuniga and Ruben Cuero, eight each in the loss.
On Sunday, Avila led Panama with 20 points, Diaz added 17 and Zuniga and Donaldo Urena got eight apiece in the win against T&T which had a team-high 20 points from Honore, 15 from Stewart and 11 and nine apiece from Blake and Tash respectively.
Last night, host Canada faced Costa Rica in the final with the lone ticket to the World Championship scheduled for Poland on the line.
When both teams met in their final pool match on Sunday night, Canada won 25-14, 25-16, 25-12.