Cuba wins the Gold in stunning come-back



MEXICO CITY, Mexico, May 26, 2016.- Cuba had a stunning come-back against Argentina to win the Men’s Pan American Cup Gold medal match 3-2 (30-32, 20-25, 25-23, 25-18, 19-17) at the Olympic Gymnasium Juan de la Barrera in Mexico City.


Cuba recovered from a 0-2 set deficit to claim the Gold over Argentina. Cuba has reached the final match on two occasions, winning them both. In stats, Cuba outnumbered Argentina 72-62 in kills and 8-7 in blocks; while Argentina did better in aces with 8-3 advantage. Cuba committed 32 errors and Argentina 42.


Actions began with a slow rhythm, both teams were cautious performing. It was Cuba that took the initiative with Argentina reacting after the second technical time-out. However Argentina’s reaction was aggressive winning a spectacular first set and charging on Cuba’s defense in the second set. Cuba pocketed the other half of the match while storming in every skill. A series of failed serves and unforced errors from both sides took set five to the edge.


Abrahan Alfonso topped Cuba’s scorers with 28 points, on 26 kills and 2 service points and Javier Concepción contributed with 14 points. Argentina had in Bruno Lima its top scorer with 29 points, on 27 kills and 2 blocks, followed by Nicolas Lazo with 20 points, on 19 kills and one ace; and Fabian Flores scored 10 points.


Captain Ricardo Calvo of Cuba said “we were too tense, we remained calm and finally began to play our game. We are very happy to have won, we continue preparing for more important events”.


Rodolfo Sanchez expressed “Argentina is very fast and we had to adjust to their style. We were very calm and benefited by the little opportunities because they have great defense. My team is used to coming from behind and it’s important for them to fight and recover, never give up”.


Coach Camilo Soto of Argentina said “the details that make us different, didn’t work in the important moments. We had imprecisions in the end and Cuba managed to take control. We don’t have the physical strength like Cuba and if you don’t take care of the tactical part, you lose. Se play fast, specially our setter, he is very precise and complicated Cuba’s game plan”.


Captain Matias Sanchez of Argentina indicated “it was a great match, Cuba started generating more from the third set forward y we failed in serves. They started to grow in their kills; we shouldn’t have allowed them to get up”.