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Coaches of Brazil, Cuba and Canada show optimism at U21 Cup


FORT McMURRAY, Canada, May 15, 2017 – Defending champions Brazil, Cuba and hosts Canada are the pre-tournament favorites to win the two tickets to the world championship up for grabs at the U21 Men’s Pan American Cup that kicks off on Tuesday.


The coaches of those three teams were the more emphatic in their statements on the eve of the start of the seven-team competition.


Brazil and Chile will battle for the ticket available to South America while Canada, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Barbados and Guatemala will be vying for the Norceca vacancy.


Here the excerpts of their statements:


Alberto Caballero, Barbados: “This is a very good level of volleyball, and my team needs to understand and rise to this level of volleyball.   It’s important for them to participate at this level.  We have a very good result in the Caribbean region, but we need to perform at a higher level to compete and get a good result here at this level. It is important for the players to experience this tournament.”


Nery Tambeiro, Brazil: “It is very important for us to secure a place in the World Championship.  The players are well, healthy and prepared for the competition and we are looking forward to playing here in Canada.”


Gino Brousseau, Canada: “We are very motivated – our team has more experience; we are one year older.  Last year was more about the development of the players, but this year is more about performance.  I’m anxious to see my players perform in this tournament.”


Daniel Nejamkin, Chile: “We are happy to be at Pan American Cup 2017. The base of our team is young and mostly under 19, and are looking forward to developing and preparing for future competitions.”


Nicolas Vives Coffigny, Cuba: “We came here with one goal: to qualify for the U21 World Championships. That’s our only goal for the event.”


Reider Lucas, Guatemala: “It’s a real opportunity for us to compete here at this event. We usually play against central American countries in AFECAVOL, so we are very happy to be here even if we are fully aware that the competition level will be very high with teams like Brazil, Canada and Barbados.”


Angel Meléndez, Puerto Rico: “We have a very young team; technically they could be in the Under 19 World Championship. So we are well focused and we’ve trained very hard since January for this event and we are going to try very hard to qualify for the World Championships.”