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Coaches reveal expectations ahead of start of Pan Am Cup


GATINEAU, Quebec, July 24, 2017 – The coaches of the eight teams taking part in the Men’s Pan American Cup commented about their chances and expectations on the eve of the competition.


Ronald Sarty, Venezuela:  “We’re going through a lot of things back at home. The situation in our country jeopardizes our preparation as it involves emotional and psychological factors. But we worked hard to be ready for this event. We want to give our best to represent our country and try to get as far as possible in this competition.”


Orlando Samuel, Dominican Republic:  “Our team is pretty new. We didn’t have much time to prepare so we will take a game at a time to get better. We’re hoping to be in the top five here at the Pan Am Cup.  There is a lot of strong teams in that tournament and we’re looking forward to facing them.”


Nicolas Vives, Cuba: “Of course we want to win the competition but our first goal is to qualify for the second round by being first of our group. Then we would like to get a medal, one of the three. We know who are our opponents, they’re strong and we will have to play hard to succeed.”


Jorge Azair, Mexico:  “We know it’s going to be a complicated tournament and it will be a bit of a challenge for us because of the teams that are competing.  Our expectation is to be in the top five teams into the tournament.  Our main goal for this year is to qualify for the World Championship at the NORCECA championship in the U.S., so this is our main preparation for that event.”


Robert Neilson, USA: “We have a young, talented group that has been working hard.  We’re excited for this tournament and for this group it will be final competition of the season. Our expectation is to play hard for every point, and come away knowing that we did that. We’re looking forward to the matches.”


Julio Velasco, Argentina: “For us, this is an important tournament to prepare for the South American tournament, which is the first qualification opportunity for the World Championship next year.  That’s the reason why we came here with our best team; to make sure that we have some international matches before the South American continental tournament.  So we hope to get a medal, potentially to win because we have our top team. But volleyball is not predictable and I think this tournament will be very useful for us.”


Ramón Hernández, Puerto Rico: “This is our first competition of the year – we have been training and preparing the team for this competition. We expect a very tough competition because there are a few of the top programs in the world right now here.  We feel that our group will be very tough, but we feel we can play hard and look for a good result for us.”


Larry McKay, Canada: “We have a fairly youthful group of players on this developmental team of aspiring international players. A typical Team Canada men's volleyball group, these players have put in many months, weeks, days and hours training together. We are looking forward to playing against these experienced national teams here at home in Gatineau."