Puerto Rico to play Cuba in U21 semifinals


SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador, August 1, 2014 – Puerto Rico advanced to the semifinals of the NORCECA Men’s U21 Continental Championship with a lopsided victory over Barbados 25-13, 25-18, 25-12 on Friday at Palacio de los Deportes in El Salvador.


In the Final Four round, the Puerto Ricans will face Cuba in a battle between Caribbean teams while United States will play Canada in a classic match featuring teams from North America.


The Puerto Ricans dominated from start to finish and held a wide margin in kills (35-20), blocks (11-5) and service winners (6-0). They also made fewer unforced errors (18-23) than their opponents.


Roberto Perez topped Puerto Rico with 15 points, including 4 blocks and two aces, while Jon Rivera added 11 with three blocks and one ace. Felix Martinez had three blocks among his 10 tallies.


Jabarry Goodridge and Carlos Cyrus finished with 8 and 7 points, respectively, for the defeated side.




Brian Negron, Puerto Rico's Captain: "We must keep the focus and work harder for the match against Cuba in semifinals. Barbados has a lot of players who can be very strong. They have a lot of talent, so we have to keep working to not be left behind. "


Juan Aviles, Puerto Rico's Head Coach: "After a difficult game against Canada, we got into this game with a great desire to be in the semifinal and we demonstrated it getting the win. Tomorrow we will have a team meeting to discuss the game against Cuba. They are  the favorites and the best in this tournament. "


Ammuniki Wood, Barbados’ Captain: “It will be difficult to assimilate the defeat, because we could play better and we could not give everything. This tournament will serve us well. The experience for the players going to other categories and those who fall into this category will be important".


John Stuart, Barbados’ Head Coach: “I have to congratulate Puerto Rico that made ​​a good game. They deserved to win, but I also have to congratulate my players because they played well. We look to work very hard to try to repeat the win against El Salvador. "