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Cuba undefeated after 3-0 win over Mexico in Men’s Pan American Cup

GATINEAU, Canada, July 26, 2017 - Cuba remained as the only undefeated team in Pool A of the 12th Men’s Pan American Cup as they swept Mexico in three sets (25-15, 25-18 and 25-15) in 76 minutes at Gatineau’s Robert Guertin Arena in Canada’s national capital region.

The defending champions, fielding the youngest and second tallest team of the tournament, secured a place in the next round and kept the momentum after a four-set victory over Dominican Republic in their opening match. Mexico, the Dominican Republic and the United States are vying for the other two spots for the next round.

Miguel Angel Lopez, the Islanders’ top scorer on Monday, had another solid start both hitting and serving, scoring four aces in the first two sets to lead Cuba to a comfortable 2-0 set lead.

Mexico offered more opposition early in the third set, but the Cubans kept adding pressure with Lopez and Miguel David Gutierrez from the angles and Jose Sandoval blocking and hitting in the centre to keep the Mexicans at bay 16-11 at the second technical timeout.

Cubans left no chances and kept the upper hand with a solid hitting and serving. Dariel Albo and Javier Concepcion combined for two consecutive blocks to seal the overall victory after a 25-15 third set.

Miguel David Gutierrez and Miguel Angel Lopez were again Cuba’s top scorers with 15 and 14 points, respectively. Nestor Orellana led Mexico’s output with seven points.

Jorge Azair, head coach of Mexico: “This is a team traditionally very strong in their serve and blocking. They dominated us with their serve and we got desperate. We need to find our composure and prepare for the most important game tomorrow.”

Nicolas Vives, head coach of Cuba: “The first days are always difficult in any tournament and our players regain their rhythm as the event progresses. Our men played much better and are improving in every game. This is a new generation, a promising one and we are working hard to put Cuba’s volleyball back on track.”