HAVANA, Cuba, October 4, 2022.- Cuba kept their
unbeaten record in pool A after dominating
Nicaragua in straight sets (25-16, 25-20, 25-15)
at the closure of day two at the Men’s U21 Pan
American Cup, that grants two tickets for
NORCECA to the 2023 Worlds.
The host benefited from their height and held
advantage over a resilient opponent with 13-1 in
blocking, while the attacking margin was 32-22
and in serves 11-8.
Once again, the most experienced Cuban player,
opposite hitter Alejandro Miguel Gonzalez was
the leading scorer of his team and the game with
15 points, followed by outside hitter Yusniel
González (10), the other player with double
digits. For the opponent, Jose Blandon led with
Jesús Cruz, head coach of Cuba, said “the boys
were a bit looser; it was expected as the games
develop. We let everyone play once again because
tomorrow we must win, and we want to have them
ready if necessary”.
“Canada always brings a good team, a country
that plays a lot of volleyball with quality and
level, they have tall players that usually
dominate every skill, it doesn’t matter the team
they bring, it will always be a challenging game
for both sides. And tomorrow it will be crucial
to advance directly into semifinals”.
Álvaro Luis Ricardo, Cuban libero’s opinion “we
can play a little better, we know our level of
play. These opponents aren’t that strong, and we
tend to get into their rhythm of play. But I
know we can do more and tomorrow against Canada
we must have a better effort, aiming for
Jorge Mena, head coach of Nicaragua, valued that
“Cuba is a powerful team, strong, we
congratulate them, but our arms didn’t fall, we
were always there because we are here to
compete, to give our best. They have a strong
serve, they scored several points and that’s how
we lost the second set, but we never gave up
despite such a tall opponent. I congratulate my
team that always battled”.
Middle blocker Rafael Hernandez, Nicaragua’s
captain, said “we gave our best as always, we
had some lows, then we recovered. Cuba has great
height, too much for us, they are very fast and
good in serves, but we fought”.