Three countries for a ticket in Challenger of Havana


HAVANA, Cuba, May 29, 2019 – The NORCECA Men’s Challenger Volleyball Tournament will be held from tomorrow May 30 to June 1 in the Sports City with Mexico, Puerto Rico and Cuba battling for a ticket to the Grand Qualifying World Final to the League of Nations, which will be held in Slovenia from 3 to 7 June.


The trio of contestants are precisely preparing for the Pan American Games between July and August, without the Dominican Republic, which was left without quota for the appointment in Lima, and canceled their participation in this contest of Challengers. For this reason only one game will be played each day.


This Wednesday the preliminary meetings were held with each team and the Practice Clinic in the own coliseum where the U-21 national teams of Cuba and the national majors of Peru held a match with the presence of the Control Committee led by its president, the Puerto Rican Carlos Beltrán, the host Ariel Saínz, technical director of the event and the Honduran Félix Sabio, chief of appeals.


After each team consumed their training schedule in the main court, their respective coaches commented about their goals for the contest that will take place under the round-robin system.


Manuel Acevedo, coach of Puerto Rico, said that "for the second year in a row we come to Cuba with young people, but of quality, some have been in leagues abroad and others with competitive experience at the collegiate level, but the most important objective is to see the disposition and the level, to add international games and which of them have options to join the first group, because in the island there were about seven players who are the main ones and have just finished in their respective foreign leagues ".


"We come to win obviously because it shows good performance, we know that the rivals are hierarchical, especially Cuba, which in the Norceca area is the big presence here, but we are going to take to the field with a lot of passion and devotion, and to defend the patriotic colors", said the representative of the champion country of the Central American and Caribbean Games Barranquilla 2018.


Sergio Herrera, technical director of Mexico, explained that "most of the athletes who did not come were playing in leagues for different countries in Europe and we are in a cycle of a new work, so that is why we have brought very interesting players to show them here and be able to make the final composition of the team that will be in the next competitions".


"For us in this Challenger the most important thing is the development of young people, to evaluate how many real possibilities they have to keep growing and one of the goals will be the Pan American Games in Lima, where we all want to look for medals, and it's in Havana where we will observe our performance as a team," said Herrera, who recalled that in Barranquilla Cuba defeated them in the group stage 0-3, but they retaliated for the bronze with a victory in five sets.


Nicolás Vives, DT of Cuba, declared that "the objective cannot be other than to win, because it gives us the possibility of being again in the World Finals of Challengers. The expectations are very good, the boys are training well and very motivated, among them those who were in the League of Argentina, except Miguel David Gutiérrez, who went through surgery on the right shoulder and is successfully recovered."


"We are ready and ready to play, everything depends on us. That is why we do not care about the opponents, although we respect them. Ours is to do things well, despite the fact that we debuted this year as a team, since we have not played since last year when we closed with the Bulgarian World Championship and then in October the Pan-American Cup under-23 in Guatemala."



Thursday May 30 - 4:00 PM: CUBA VS MEXICO

Friday, May 31 - 4:00 PM: PUERTO RICO VS MÉXICO

Saturday 1st June- 6:00 PM: CUBA VS PUERTO RICO