Coaches Statementes before
start of Pan American Cup
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, July 7, 2018 – The coaches of
the teams participating in the XVII Women’s Pan American Cup
commented about the possibility of their sides on the eve of the
start of the competition.
With five tickets available to next year’s Pan American Games
the competition promises to be a tough one.
Some of the teams are also using the tournament as a preparation
for the FIVB World Championship to be played in Japan.
The United States are the defending champions and Coach Jonathan
Newman-Gonchar hopes to continue on the same path.
“We are excited to be here to defend what USA teams have done
before at this tournament,” Newman-Gonchar said.
Here follows the excerpts of their statements:
Guillermo Orduna, Argentina:
We just finished playing in the FIVB League of Nations which was
a good experience beyond the results. Our game grew up. We have
a blend of experienced players with some young ones who are
coming from the lower divisions. Our goal is to qualify to the
Pan American Games. At the VNL we won a match against Korea but
also played matches of close score against Russia, Netherlands
and Dominican Republic.
Wagner Fernandes, Brazil:
We have been training just for four weeks with no matches of
preparation which represents one first difficult. Other
difficult is that our pool is very strong with teams of
Argentina, Colombia and Mexico who have trained and played since
April. Our team is a mix of veterans like Dani and Thaisa
Menezes with some adult but young players. We have not played
the Pan Am Cup regularly but this time is a qualifier to the Pan
American Games. We are happy to play and to be here because the
cup is a strong an important tournament.
Marcello Abbondanza, Canada:
We are really interested in this tournament because we have many
new young players. We worked hard for one month and a half but
we didn’t have friendly matches. This a testing event to see
what we can do at the world championship. Our focus is on trying
to do our best and reaching the semifinals would be a great
Antonio Rizola, Colombia:
The team is coming from a big evolution program. President
(Carlos Alberto) Grisales is supporting all the initiatives.
Right now an under-age South American Tournament is going on in
Colombia. We just played a great Challenger Cup in Lima. This
Pan Am Cup is going to be a tough one with very high technical
level. Our pool is very difficult with Argentina, Brazil and
Mexico. We are going to give our best.
Andrés López, Costa Rica:
The team is practically a new one with only two players
remaining from the teams that participated twice in the world
championships. The important thing is to return to the Pan Am
Cup as Central American champions which is our merit. This is a
class A or triple A competition to give the girls a view of the
reality and an idea of where we want to be participating.
Wilfredo Robinson, Cuba:
This is a team of two generations and we are working on the
adjustments based on the projections and the level of those
players. Our goal is how to qualify among the top five teams
going next year to the Pan American Games in Lima. We know the
level of the other teams but that is the goal of Cuba at this
Marcos Kwiek, Dominican Republic:
Now that the Pan American Cup is a qualifier to the Pan American
Games with five positions available, the event is bigger in
quality with many teams after those spots. We have the extra
pressure of playing at home with the fans considering the cup as
the most important event. Our goal is at least to win a medal.
The team is well balanced after the participation in the League
Ricardo Ponce, Mexico:
Our team has been training for four weeks now at the city of
Monterrey. We have assembled a team with good balance between
players with a long resume and other who are coming from the
U-20 division. From the physical and technical point of view
this a good balanced team and with good perspective for this
type of competition.
Carlos Aparicio, Peru:
This is a new team with many players who are for the first time
with the national team. We are in a rebuilding process and I
have been with the team only since May 2. Our main purpose is to
prepare this team for the Pan American Games in Peru next year.
Here we have the girls who gladly accepted the invitation and
with them we are working. Half of the team is under 23 years-old
and for the U23 Pan American Cup in Cañete next August I plan to
add players from the junior teams.
Javier Gaspar, Puerto Rico:
Our team is a mix of young and veteran players and our goal here
is to qualify to Peru 2019. Participating in the NORCECA
Challenger in Canada was a good experience winning our three
matches. Then in Peru we faced stronger teams like Bulgaria and
Colombia. We had the chance to evaluate some of our players.
Another goal this summer is to win a medal at the Central
American and Caribbean Games in Barranquilla.
Francisco Cruz, Trinidad & Tobago:
We are fresh from winning the CAZOVA tournament for the seventh
consecutive time but since February we have not had the
opportunity to train on a regular basis. The fact that
compensates these difficulties is that we have five athletes
playing in foreign leagues, but also they don’t have the same
level. We are qualified to the world championship which requires
total support from the authorities.
Jonathan Newman-Gonchar, United States:
We are excited to be here to defend what USA teams have done
before at this tournament. The girls are hungry to compete after
six weeks of hard training and play only against teammates.
There is a lot of anticipation for this event and our team is
ready to compete.