Cuba defeated Mexico in the opener of Challenger in Havana
HAVANA, Cuba, May 30, 2019. - Cuba defeated Mexico 3-0 (25-16,
25-22, 25-21) in the opening match of the Norceca Challenger
Men's Volleyball Tournament that began on Thursday at
the Coliseum of the Sports City.
The hosts outscored their rivals widely in attacks (50-26),
while in blocking the difference was 7-4 and in services 4-2.
Left-handed opposite Jesús Herrera was the top scorer of the
match with 16 points, followed by corner players Osniel
Mergarejo (14) and Miguel Ángel López (11), and blocker Roamy
Alonso (11). For Mexico, the only in double digits was Gonzalo
Cuba presented a starting line-up of players barely 21 years of
average age, with the exception of Libero Yonder Garcia, which
outperformed Mexico in size and potency, and increased their
rhythm of play in each set. They had some lack of coordination
at the beginning, but those who played in the Argentine league
with those who stayed at home are already in harmony.
This event, which gives a place to the winner for the Grand
World Qualifying Final to the League of Nations with in Slovenia
from 3 to 7, will have its second day on Friday with the clash
between Mexicans and Puerto Ricans.
Nicolás Vives, Cuban coach, pointed out that "the team played
quite well, a little bit of anxiety, normal when playing for the
first time in front of their audience like in a season, but then
they adjusted. Although we met in the blockade we had to do the
same in the counterattack while in the serve we still lack the
frequency that we know will be improving and in general all were
delivered. Mexico is a young team, some have faced us, but they
play well because they do it a lot. "
The central Roamy Alonso, among the double-digit scorers, said
that "obviously missing Mexico fundamental players, without
underestimating the effort of those who are here, did not exceed
our level, but in reality we focused on our team to do the
actions that we have trained. I think Puerto Rico is in a
similar situation and we also hope to win."
Sergio Herrera, technical director of Mexico, said that "for
times my team had good actions, but we played against a very
powerful rival, very worked, even so, we bring some players that
we have premiered internationally, they did not look so bad,
they did interesting things, I think that if we had played in
the first set like in the other two maybe we would have achieved
something else, that was our objective ".
His captain Gonzalo Ruiz declared that "we are happy with the
work we did, because we have very young colleagues who had the
opportunity to integrate the selection and this was our first
game of the season. We always want to win, but we have to keep
going and the next game has to be better".