VARNA, Bulgaria Ė Bulgaria defeated Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-21) in Pool D action on Friday for its second win in three matches in the first round of the Volleyball Menís World Championship.
The Bulgarians, co-hosts of this quadrennial event along with Italy, were buoyed by an enthusiastic home crowd at the Palace of Culture and Sport in Varna.
They dominated the action at the net, registering a total of 12 blocks over three sets (compared to zero for Puerto Rico) en route to a relatively routine victory that leaves them in third place with six points in Pool D behind defending champion Poland and Iran.
The Iranians, who defeated Bulgaria on Thursday, and the Poles have tallied six points as well but also have a match in hand.
Puerto Rico, for its part, lost its sixth straight set, although in the last one the Caribbean team got to 20 points for the first time in the tournament.
Bulgariaís Nikolay Penchev was the top scorer in the match with 14 points, three of them coming on blocks and three on aces.
His teammate, Nikolay Uchikov, added eleven points.
Pablo Guzman led the way for Puerto Rico with 11 points, while Maurice Torres added eight.
Bulgaria will square off in its next match Sunday against Cuba, while Puerto Rico will face Finland that same day.
Sixteen of 24 teams (four from each of the four pools) will advance to the second round of the Volleyball Menís World Championship, which runs through Sept. 30.