Coaches of the men’s division are excited for the Junior Pan Am Games

CALI, Colombia, November 25, 2021. - The coaches of the Men’s Volleyball tournament that starts on Friday November 26 are excited to compete at the inaugural Junior Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia.


As a new generation of players is being forged and the opportunity of winning two direct tickets to the 2023 Pan American Games in Santiago, Chile (one spot for the top final ranking team of NORCECA and one for the top final ranking team of the South American Confederations), the coaches of the eight teams competing at the Junior Pan American Games Cali-Valle 2021 gave their first statements during the preliminary inquiry two days before the first day of competition.


Pablo Rico, Head coach of Argentina: “The preparation has been precarious, Argentina has had many difficulties to gather the players of this age-group for several reasons, the first because many players are overseas and the international calendar prevents them from coming, and the second is that the clubs of our national league are in regular season. This is an event out of schedule and we’re coming with a mix of players from our junior and youth national team, we don’t have under 23 players”.


Giuliano Ribas, Assistant coach of Brazil: “In every competition Brazil is strong, but we aren’t at our best because we have an understanding with our national clubs of not using the top players of this age-group because they are in competition. Our expectations are high for these first Junior Pan Am Games that are of great significance for the continent to observe young athletes that can be part of the Olympic cycle to join our senior national team. We hope for a good competition and win a medal for our country”.


Daniel Nejamkin, Head coach of Chile: “We are coming back slowly after the pandemic; we didn’t have a great preparation. We are bringing young players, many born in 2003, as an effort to begin their preparation and see who is eligible for our senior team”.


Arnaldo Sevilla, Head coach of Colombia: “We had two series of preparation, one here in Cali and the other in Medellin, the team has been practicing.  We’ve had good results with international practice matches and as hosts our goal is to win a medal”.


Alexander Gutierrez, Head coach of Dominican Republic: “We are glad to be in an event of great magnitude. We´re bringing a really young team, thinking about the future, 80% of the team will repeat this age-group for two more years, so if the team remains together we expect great things. Now we want to gain experience, try and give a good spectacle against high quality opponents and evaluate where we stand”.


Reider Lucas, Head coach of Guatemala: “This is a great opportunity, we are glad to compete in the first Junior Pan American Games. The team is really young and we are looking for them to perform at their best and enjoy competing which will help this new generation greatly”.


Jorge Azair, Head coach of Mexico: “My team is motivated; I believe it will be a highly competitive event because I consider this a senior category and we expect it to be leveled between all the teams”.


Gerardo De Jesús Sánchez, Head coach of Puerto Rico: “We are really excited to be here; our expectations are to win a medal. Our preparation was atypical because most of our players are in college in the U.S. and they are in pre-season, with practice matches; others are playing Puerto Rico’s league and some in high school; so physically our team is doing well. The nucleus of this group has a long time together; they’ve played world championships and have a lot of experience”.