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Coaches at Pan Am Cup to assess potential of their teams

LIMA, Peru, June 16, 2017 – The coaches of the twelve teams taking part in the XVI Women’s Pan American Cup commented about the potential of their squads ahead of the new Olympic cycle and their objectives in the first regional competition of the year.

They made their statements during the preliminary inquiry of the teams at Los Delfines Hotel in Lima on Thursday and Friday.

Guillermo Orduna, coach of Argentina: “Our team has evolved and we have experienced a good jump in our process of growth. Now the challenge is to keep the consistency. Our goal is to continue growing and the Pan American Cup is a tournament of good level at the beginning of the season to test players and to evaluate how we are as a team.”

Marcello Abbondanza, coach of Canada: “I have been with the team just for a few weeks and I am curious and excited to see how the players perform in a real competition and not only in practice in the gym. Some of our players have been here in the past so is a mix of young and veterans. I like the talent of my players and now we need to work to see how they can develop their potential.”

Eduardo Guillaume, coach of Chile: “We are putting together a working group trying to keep it for the whole year. With this group we are going to face the future competitions of this year and next year. There are some of the players who took part in the U20 and our plan is to create consistency and continuity.”

Antonio Rizola Neto, coach of Colombia: “Our team consists of players in the U23 category and four of them played the U18 Cup in Cuba including the MVP Valerin Carabali. This group of players represents the future of Colombian volleyball. Our veterans stayed at home recovering from some ailments and getting ready for the Grand Prix and the South American Championship.”

Wilfredo Robinson, coach of Cuba: “We really don’t have the team we planned to bring here because of some injuries. Nevertheless we maintain the same objectives of qualifying to the Grand Prix and getting points for the regional competitions like Central American and Caribbean and Pan American Games. Heidy Casanova is one of our main offensive contributors and she is in good shape.

Marcos Kwiek, coach of Dominican Republic: “This is the first international competition of the year and the Pan American Cup is a tough tournament. After one Olympic year the teams are testing new players and also new coaches. It is the time to show what the new cycle is going to be. Our team is prepared to battle for one of the medals.”

Ricardo Naranjo, coach of Mexico: “We have been able to assemble a team composed by some of the players who are studying in USA with veterans who had been part of previous Mexican selections like Andrea Rangel and Carolina Carranza. Our time of training was not very long, but we did our best to maximize the preparation. We are going to be competitive.”

Luizomar de Moura, coach of Peru: “We have been working for just three weeks but I am satisfied with the dedication the athletes are showing in this new process. Our objective at the Pan Am Cup is to grow as a team. We will play one match at a time with responsibility and dedication. Playing at home is important that the fans can see a team dedicated and with desire.”

Javier Gaspar, coach of Puerto Rico: “It is my first time in Peru and I am very happy about it. Our team had an excellent preparation for this Pan Am Cup. We are in a revamping process combining players with Olympic experience like Daly Santana with prospects with a lot of talent like Pilar Victoria and Ana Sofia Jusino, who are 20 and 21 years-old. We hope our training leads us to important results and in the short term our qualification among the top teams to have access to the World Grand Prix.”

Francisco Cruz, coach of Trinidad & Tobago: “We have six rookies and six experienced players, including four who are playing in professional leagues. Thanks to the Ministry of Sports, the new authorities of the Federation and Sport Company, we have been training since March in a venue exclusively for volleyball. They are doing at their best to give the players the better conditions possible.”

Karch Kiraly, coach of United States: “We have a young group of players, seven maybe eight without international experience who are ready to learn a lot at this tournament. Four years ago we had some players going through the same situation, like Kim Hill, Kelly Murphy, who went on to play important roles, including the Rio Olympics.”

Jhosvanny Chambers, coach of Venezuela: “We have a team with competitive experience since some of the players are from the previous cycle. We have a setter, an outside hitter and a libero from the junior ranks. Our objective is to advance to the second phase even though we are missing some players who are injured right now.”