Cuba Tops Puerto Rico in Pool B
Long Beach, California, May 7, 2012 – Cuba handled Puerto
Rico 25-20, 25-18, 25-18 to begin their NORCECA Men’s
Continental Olympic Qualification Tournament on Monday at the
Walter Pyramid in Long Beach, Calif. The winner of the
eight-team tournament earns a spot into the 2012 Olympic Games
Cuba’s Wilfredo Leon and Rolando Cepeda contributed 13 points in
the victory, while Fernando Hernandez added 12 points. Puerto
Rico was led by Juan Figueroa’s 11 points.
Cuba dominated the net with a 14-4 block advantage and limited
its errors to 11.
Cuba returns to Pool B action on Tuesday against Dominican
Republic at 13:00 Pacific Time, while Puerto Rico takes on
Canada on Tuesday at 18:00 Pacific Time.
“We have a young team and at the beginning of the tournament
they are a little nervous,” Cuba Coach Orlando Samuels Blackwood
said. “Puerto Rico is missing some very important players. I
think both teams could have played better tonight.”
“For us, it’s been a few rough months since we lost our starting
opposite, our starting setter and I was injured just before we
left,” Puerto Rico captain Victor Rivera said. “I thought we
played the first 10 points well. Cuba is a very young team. We
are older. They have a lot of energy.”