Gatineau, Canada, Jul 26 (Prensa Latina) Cuba played to a successful debut at the 12th Men”s Pan American Cup with a 3-1 (25-17, 25-22, 21-25 25-22) win over the Dominican Republic for Pool A at Gatineau”s Robert Guertin Arena in Canada”s capital region.
With the youngest team of the tournament, featuring seven players from the 2017 Men’s U21 World Championships silver medal winning squad, The Cuban team got off last night to a solid start, taking the first two sets, before their Caribbean rivals bounced to narrow the lead with a 25-21 victory in the third set.
However, Cuba came back and kept an early lead in the fourth set. The Dominicans closed the gap to a two-point lead, but Cuba prevailed with a 25-22 win to secure the match.
Nicolas Vives, Cuban coach, said after the game his players did it well. ‘They are starting to regain their rhythm. We have a blend of U21 and older players. We have been working together for 15 days only and we need to work on communication and other aspects of the game.’
‘If we play good quality volleyball and stay focused, we can do well here,’ he added.
Miguel Angel Lopez led the Cuban attack with 23 points. He was also supported by Miguel David Gutierrez (18), the best opposite of the 2017 Men’s U21 World Championships. The Dominican Republic mostly relied on Henry Lopez (16 points), Elvis Contrera and Jose Caceres, who produced 14 each.
The other two teams in Pool A are the United States and Mexico. The USA beat the Mexicans 3-1 (25-18,
25-23, 22-25, 25-18).
Cuba will play Mexico this Wednesday, and the USA on Thursday for the last game of the preliminary round of the tournament.
Canada, Argentin, Puerto Rico and Venezuela play in Pool B.