Suriname wins second title beating Barbados in five-set thriller
PARAMARIBO, Suriname, July 30, 2023. Suriname wins their second title during the XVIII CAZOVA Caribbean Championship, and they achieved in a five-set thriller 3-2 victory over ten-time champion Barbados (19-25, 25-21, 29-27, 23-25, 17-15).
Suriname secures the title in thrilling fashion after a redemption against the Bajans who beat the host in the opening match. This was the second consecutive time that Suriname came back from behind to be victorious in a match during these tournaments.
The five-set thriller began with a 25-19 score for Barbados. The defending champion Suriname showed in the second and third set why they are champion winning it 25-21 and 29-27 respectively. The Bajans keep calm in the fourth set to forced a decisive fifth set with a 25-23 win. With that momentum Barbado looks to get away with the win, but Suriname feeds off the packed home court advantage. It was end to end stuff in the tie-breaker where Suriname went on winning 17-15 after opposite Akeil Williams of Barbados tip de ball out of the field.
Suriname and Barbados were not significant difference in the attack. It was little error that Barbados made giving Suriname the edge in blocking (10-9) and serving (12-10). Suriname just earned 38 points from Barbados unforced errors.
The top scorers for Suriname opposite Zefanio Breinburg with 28 points (16 on attacks, 4 on blocks, and 2 on serves), and his teammate, middle blocker Ethan Asimia, contributed with 17 points from attacks and 3 on blocks, totaling 20 points. For Barbados, middle blocker Willams Akeil had 20 points, all from attacks.
With the win Suriname qualifies for the continental championships that will be held in the USA.
Keven Sporkslede, Captain of Suriname: “The Suriname team has won. When I talk about Suriname, I talk about the players, technical staff and organization. As you can see it has become a trend to play five setters. We stayed calm and it was easy to do. Is my second time becoming champion with Suriname and this means that we can represent the Caribbean at higher tournaments.”
Carlos Orta, Coach of Suriname: “The winning formula was that my team played with their heart. They know the fifth set will be ours. Most of the teams will be tired, but Barbados shows up today and give us a very hard time. I am very happy with the victory and very proud. Now I will give the group seven days rest before training again.”
Ethan Asimia, Outside hitter of Suriname: “I have no words to describe my feelings right now. This is amazing to become champion with Suriname for the first time. Our hard work pays off and I am very happy.”
Elwin Oxley, Coach of Barbados: “It is clearly not meant to be. I am happy with by players performance. We didn’t pass as we usually do. I can’t ask for more. I tell them that they give it all. After I saw the semifinal, I expected that the crowd will be this big and Suriname feed off the support.”
Akeel Oxley, Captain of Barbados: “It meant a lot for us to win this. We haven’t won the title in a long time and wanted to end the drought. As the coach said it was not meant to be today. We have a very solid group and everyone is unified. We di not get over the final hurdle and it is a bitter pill to swallow.”