Mexico earns Bronze medal with win over Cuba

DURANGO, Mexico, August 23, 2021.- Mexico earned the Bronze Medal at the Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship defeating reigning champion Cuba 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 30-28, 27-25) at Auditorio del Pueblo in Durango, Mexico.

This is Mexico’s third bronze medal match in the history of the event, finishing with a 4-1 win-loss record and Cuba ending fourth with 3-2.

Mexico´s thrilling third set win impressed with an extended 30-28, recovering from a five-point deficit (14-19) and then missing five set points. Cuba did the same in the fourth set, battling to reach a tie-break recovering from a four-point deficit (14-18) but came off short.

Despite Cuba’s overwhelming 10-5 margin in blocks and a 10-6 margin in serves, Mexico ended with the win on 52-43 advantage on kills and gave up fewer points (33-41) on unforced errors.

Mexican Opposite hitter Diego González scored a match-high of 22 points on 19 kills, 2 blocks and one ace. Outside hitter Josué López contributed with 13 points on 11 kills and 2 aces, followed by middle blocker Axel Tellez Rodríguez with 11 points.

Cubans outside hitter Miguel Angel López and opposite hitter Jesús Herrera scored 19 and 18 points respectively. Herrera led in serves with 4 points.

Pedro Rangel, Captain of Mexico: “We were convinced of winning, it showed, despite our slow beginning. From the second set further we pressured with our tactical serves; our block-defense worked as did our offense. We defended important balls and played with intelligence to win in passing. Francisco (no.25) made the difference in the third set when reaching the service line to catch up with Cuba”.

Yosvani Muñoz, Coach of Cuba: “The difference was our numerous errors in key moments, this went on the entire competition; I don’t want to justify the result but we had little time to practice, a few days of work and what you don’t practice you can’t perform. I am satisfied with my team’s effort and their performance despite coming unprepared physically and technically speaking”.