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NORCECA Continental Cup Finals to start in Guaymas


GUAYMAS, Mexico, June 23, 2016 – The NORCECA Continental Cup Finals get underway on Thursday with twelve countries ready to battle for two vacancies –one per gender- to the beach volleyball tournament of the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.


Cuba appears like the heavy favorite of the women’s tournament with powerhouses United States and Canada each having already qualified the maximum of two teams per country to the Olympics through the FIVB World Tour.


In the men’s event Canada is fielding two powerful teams in their quest for a second berth in Rio de Janeiro with Cuba also to be reckoned as a top hungry contender.


In the women’s division, Cuba will be represented by the athletic team of Lianma Flores and Leila Martínez and the up-and-coming duo of Yanisleidis Sanchez and Lidiannis Echeverría.


Cuba’s main obstacle in the best-of-five country versus country competition is expected to come from Costa Rica and hosts Mexico.


Costa Rica’s Karen Cope and Nathalia Alfaro combine to form a capable team with a second unit composed by youngsters Marcela Araya and Valeria Valenciano. The home country will be represented by the steady teams of Claudia Rios and Gloria Santoyo and Diana Estrada and Zaira Orellana.


With the United States with two men’s teams qualified, the focus of the competition turns to Canada (one team qualified), Mexico (one team qualified) and Cuba.


The men’s Canadian teams of Josh Binstock/Sam Schachter and Sam Pedlow/Grant O’Gorman both belong to the world’s elite and have to be considered the pre-tournament favorites given their combination of experience and skills.


Cubans Nivaldo Díaz/Sergio Gonzalez and Karell Peña/Daisel Quesada can’t show in their resume the experience of their Canadian counterparts but that can be misleading as both teams have fared well against world-class teams in NORCECA events the last two years.


With one men’s team already qualified to Rio de Janeiro, Mexico will be represented by promising teams of Josué Gaxiola/José Luis Camargo and Juan Revuelta/Ricardo Galindo.


The second and third place teams in both genders will be entitled to play in the FIVB World Continental Cup, which will provide two final slots to the Rio 2016 Olympic Games.


Women’s Teams

Barbados: Sharon Bovell/Anthazia Mason, Shari Matthews/Anicia Wood, Cayman Islands: Stefania Gandolfi/Jessica Wolfenden, Chante Smith/Ilean Power, Costa Rica: Karen Cope/Nathalia Alfaro, Marcela Araya/Valeria Valenciano, Cuba: Lianma Flores/Leila Martínez, Yanisleidis Sánchez/Lidiannis Echeverría, El Salvador: María Vargas/Madeline González, Roxana Ávalos/Juliane Ponce, Guatemala: Natalia Girón/Estefanie Bethancourt, María J. Orellana/Andrea Orellana, Jamaica: Danielle Perry/Kai Wright, Reane Temple/Sashalee Wallen, Mexico: Claudia Ríos/Gloria Santoyo, Diana Estrada/Zaira Orellana, Nicaragua: Claudia Machado/Lolette Rodríguez, Swan Mendoza/Socorro López, Saint Lucia: Jamila Lansiqout/Skye Mondeser, Dala Noel/Kerin Neptune, Suriname: Sandrina Hunsel/Cheryl Brunings, Chavelis Wip/Chagnaz Frankel, Trinidad & Tobago: Ayana Dyette/Malika Davidon, Rheeza Grant/Abby Blackman.


Men’s Teams

Canada: Josh Binstock/Sam Schatcher, Sam Pedlow/Grant O’Gorman, Costa Rica: Bryan Monge/Esteban Escobar, Richard Smith/Sebastián Valenciano, Cuba: Sergio González/Nivaldo Díaz, Karell Peña/Daisel Quesada, El Salvador: David Vargas/Carlos Escobar, Franklin Flores/Rodrigo Chávez, Guatemala: Erick Garrido/Erick Flores, Julio Recinos/Luis García, México: Josué Gaxiola/José Luis Camargo, Juan Revuelta/Ricardo Galindo, Nicaragua: Gerson Contreras/Denis López, Rubén Mora/Dany López, Puerto Rico: Fernando Morales/Juan Ribas, Héctor Soto/Kevin Rodríguez, Saint Lucia: Joseph Clercent/Julian Bissette, Caesar Cohen/Tevin St Jean, Suriname: Keven Sportledge/Ong a Fat Furgil, Antoine Vilet/Roberto Frits, Trinidad & Tobago: Daneil Williams/Simon Blake, Christian Francois/Colin Bernard, U.S. Virgin Islands: Dillon Lesniak/Brian Kwasny, Marc Lomeli/Hylas Smith.