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Brazil wins gold, Cuba silver, at the U21 Pan Am Cup

FORT MCMURRAY, Canada, May 21. 2017 - Brazil came through when it counted to win the gold medal of the U21 Pan American Cup at the Syncrude Sport and Wellness Centre at Keyano College in Fort McMurray.

Cuba was not going down without a fight, but eventually Brazil took control for the win in four sets: 1-3 (23-25, 25-17, 18-25, 18-25).

“It was an important victory for us,” said Brazil’s coach Nery Tambeiro. “Our team is of a new composition. Cuba is very physically strong, and it’s very difficult to stop them.  You have to break their reception and make them uncomfortable.  There was a lot of very fast serves, but we were better.  We will have to fight in the World Championships.” 

Brazil earned its ticket to the U21 World Championships as a result of finishing first among the South American teams. Cuba won the NORCECA spot to the event to be held in the Czech Republic from June 23 to July 2.

It was another team effort by Brazil, with Victor Cardoso logging 16 points as that side’s highest scorer.

Miguel Lopez had 22 points for Cuba including seven aces.

Cuba’s coach Nicolas Vives Coffigny was satisfied with his team’s result. “I’m very happy that we have a silver medal and qualified for the U21 World Championships (as first finisher in the NORCECA zone)…. I feel the team is getting better.”

The Cubans did not give up, but were eventually outplayed by the Brazilians.

“It was a really strong game until the end,” said Cuba’s captain Adrian Goide. “Brazil knew how to play better than us in some technical aspects. However, we played hard and took the opportunities that were given to us.”

Host Canada was the bronze medal winner after beating Guatemala.

All teams enjoyed the tournament and the hospitality of the local organizing committee.

“Thank for the support of the organizing committee – the tournament was very well done and we appreciate their work,” said Brazil’s Tambeiro.