HAVANA, Cuba, October 8, 2022.- Canada beat Cuba
in exciting tie-break battle (13-25, 25-19,
25-15, 22-25, 15-12) and claimed the bronze
medal at the Men’s U21 Pan American Cup at
Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.
The North Americans finished with better number
in attacks (48-38) and blocks (12-10), while the
hosts dominated in serves (12-9) and committed
more errors (36-31) in a match that lasted two
hours and 14 minutes.
Outside hitter Sargent led all scorers with 26
points, followed by teammate middle blocker John
Obi, who added 11. For Cuba, opposite hitter
Alejandro Miguel González scored 25 tallies and
outside hitter Bryan Camino added 16; the only
players with double digits from both teams.
Ben Josephson, head coach of Canada commented
“playing a bronze medal match is hard because
you are disappointed from semifinals, but these
are two good teams that perform at a high level
and today we played five sets. I think it was
balanced, Cuba won the firs, we the second and
third, and they recovered the fourth and evened
the scores to reach a fifth”.
“I’m not happy because we didn’t qualify to
worlds, but I am proud of the boys of how the
battled yesterday and they did again today. I
liked everything from this event, the fans were
there all the time, both times against Cuba was
challenging and both teams have good quality”.
Outside hitter Aaron Elser said “we knew we
could win, and they did too, but we didn’t
expect the way they started in the first set.
Cuba is a solid team and we focused on blocking
to stabilize the defense, and there’s no doubt
that contributed to our victory”.
Cuban coach Jesús Cruz said “we came to play
aware of how hard it would be, we did it with
ups and downs, but we are still missing the
final touch to finish with the opponent. This is
good generation, we expect several players to be
in the national team in four or five years,
little by little they will have the level of
play for it. We didn’t qualify for worlds, we
didn’t win a medal, but it was an opportunity
for these athletes to measure themselves”.
The most outstanding Cuban, Alejandro Miguel
said “we lost against Canada because we were too
confident, they weren’t physically well,
technically yes, but we couldn’t recover, maybe
hurt from yesterday’s match against United
States. We are a good group of young players
with good height, we must continue working and
this tournament has shown me that I need to work
a lot to reach my personal goal, I want to be
the best volleyball player in the world, play
with the national team and win world
championships. I don’t want to be the best of
the team; I want my team to win”.