Gatineau, Canada, Jul 28 (Prensa Latina) By beating Canada and the USA, Argentina and Cuba qualified unbeaten to the semifinals of the 12th Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup that is being played at Gatineau”s Robert Guertin Arena, in Canada.
In a much tense and hard-fought game, the Cubans who are the youngest team in the tournament beat the USA last night 3-2 (24-26, 25-21, 25-21, 19-25 and 15-11) in over two hours at Gatineau’s Robert Guertin Arena to finish unbeaten in Pool A.
With the victory, the defending champions Cuba advanced automatically for the semifinals on Saturday. The USA play this Friday the third-ranked team from Group B for a place in the final four.
The Cuban had previously defeated Dominican Republic 3-1 (25-17, 25-22, 21-25, 25-22) and Mexico 3-0 (25-15, 25-18, 25-15).
After the win over the USA, the Cuban head coach Nicolas Vives said the ‘team performed well and improved as the match progressed, but they were desperate and anxious for the win. They put too much pressure on themselves. The USA is a good team, but we could have won in three sets.’
‘Our next match will certainly be difficult, but our mindset in on the win,’ he added.
Argentina closed the preliminary round with a crushing victory over Canada 3-0 to move undefeated to the semifinals on Saturday. Now Cuba and Argentina will have to wait to know for their opponents after Friday’s quarterfinals.
The Argentineans who are strong contenders to the Cup managed to win the first two sets 27-25, 25-23, but the host team collapsed in the third period the South American clinched it 25-11.
Argentina has been the runner-up in the last two editions of the continental event. This time around it aims to join a selective group of four countries that have lifted the crown at least once in the 11-year history of the tournament.
In quarterfinals, Dominican Republic will play Canada for a pass to semifinals, and the USA is confronting Puerto Rico.