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Tiebreaker Times

2024 FIVB Challenger Cup

Puerto Rico dominates Belgium to reach FIVB Challenger Cup Final

Puerto Rico showcased its balanced offensive firepower to enter the 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup Final, dominating Belgium, 25-19, 25-15, 25-16 in Saturday’s knockout semifinals at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila.

The NORCECA champions will now await the winner between Czechia and Vietnam for the championship and a spot in next year’s Volleyball Nations League.

Five Puerto Ricans scored at least five points, led by Paola Santiago’s 13 points on 12 attacks and one ace.

FIVB-Challenger-2024-Puerto-Rico-vs.-Belgium-5294 Puerto Rico dominates Belgium to reach FIVB Challenger Cup Final 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Eighteen-year-old Grace Lopez added 10 points, while Stephanie Rivera chipped in eight.

Middle blockers Neira Ortiz and Diana Reyes also contributed seven and five points, respectively, as Puerto Rico dominated the attacking department, 41-26.

“We feel great. We worked for this because yesterday we studied the other team really well and I hope tomorrow we have a good game and win the championship,” said opposite spiker Lopez, who is entering her sophomore year at the University of Miami.

The Belgians cut their six-point deficit in the third set through the combined efforts of Nel Demeyer, Manon Stragier, and Anna Koulberg to inch within a point, 15-16.

However, the Puerto Ricans had one last run in them as Reyes served consistently.

Meanwhile, Lopez, Santiago, and Ortiz made the clutch points to pull away and earn the victory with a 9-1 finish.

Errors also doomed the European nation with 28 compared to the Caribbean island’s 17.

FIVB-Challenger-2024-Puerto-Rico-vs.-Belgium-4987 Puerto Rico dominates Belgium to reach FIVB Challenger Cup Final 2024 FIVB Challenger Cup News Volleyball  - philippine sports news

Nobody reached double figures for Belgium as Pauline Martin had nine points while Demeyer and Stragier got seven each.

#ReadMore  De Jesus dismayed with Lady Spikers, looks forward to semis
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