Cuba wins gold medal of NORCECA U21
SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, August 3, 2014 – Cuba won its fifth
crown in the history of the NORCECA Men’s U21 Continental
Championship with a 29-27, 25-21, 25-21 victory over Canada at
Palacio de los Deportes of San Salvador on Sunday night.
Both finalists were secured of tickets to next year’s FIVB World
Championship to take place in Mexico.
Cuba claimed the title in 2000 and the won three consecutive
editions of the biennial tournament in 2004, 2006 and 2008. The
United States team, which finished third this time, had won the
last two competitions.
Osmany Uriarte and Abrahan Alfonso were the top offensive
weapons of Cuba producing 20 and 15 points, respectively. Osniel
Rendon contributed 10 tallies.
Blake Scheenrhorn led Canada with 11 points while Ryan Nickifor
and Jeffrey Ardon had 9 and 8 points, respectively, in the
Cuba led in attacks 48-30 while Canada topped in blocks 7-4.
Both teams scored three aces and the winners committed 29 errors
to 24 by the losers.
Ricardo Calvo, Captain of Cuba: "I have to congratulate both
teams for today's game. We had everything worked well since we
were in Havana. We started with some anxiety, but overcame it.
I had a lot of confidence in my teammates. It was a great final
and both teams played well.”
Pavel Pimienta, Coach of Cuba: "The first set defined the game.
The boys came in a little bit pressed, but then got loose and
played their game. We made mistakes, especially with the serves
but as the match went on they were more relaxed and confident.”
Ryan Nickifor, Captain of Canada: "We played with a lot of
energy from the start of the first set, but then the pace slowed
down. In the next two sets we were not able to recover.”
John Barrett, Coach of Canada: "They (Cuba) took advantage of
the opportunities. By winning the first set their confidence
picked up. In the second set we played better the second half,
but it was too late. I saw a lot of progress in our team. I
think they can play better and we will work one year ahead of
the World Championship."