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Colombia is Champion of IV Pan American U-18 Girls’ Cup


HAVANA, Cuba, April 2, 2017 – Colombia is the new Champion of Pan American U-18 Girls’ Cup after winning categorically over Cuba 3-0 (25-22, 25-18, 25-19) in the great final match held at the Sports city Coliseum.


The South Americans did not want to be repeated the history of the preliminary round where they were defeated by the host team (1-3). This time they neutralized them with their powerful service and effective blocking, and making fewer errors (23-34).


Emelys Martinez (12) and Manuela Ibarguen (11) were the team top-scorers, while the Aliama Cesé was the only one who scored double figures (14) becoming the match best scorer.


Colombia was runner-up in Pool B with a victory over Costa Rica (3-0) and a loss against Cuba (1-3); in quarterfinals, they defeated Mexico (3-1) which contributed to qualify to the world championship after the Chileans’ loss; and, in semifinals, they sensationally succeeded against Dominican Republic (3-2).


Cubans dominated Pool B with victories over Costa Rica (3-0) and Colombia (3-1); in quarterfinals, they overcame Chile (3-0); and, in semifinals, Argentina in five sets.


Antonio Rizola, Brazilian coach of Colombia: “Cuba hosted a spectacular tournament and today we did not go for the revenge against its team. Our loss against them in the preliminary round was past. Today it was another goal. My pupils performed very well in a tournament where at least 7 out of 10 teams have a strong level; although Uruguay, Costa Rica and Guatemala are growing.”


“We came to earn a berth being concerned about Chile who was our adversary for such goal, and finally we are taking back home the gold medal what means our physical, technical-tactical and psychological preparation was good. We were growing and getting ready to meet again the local players. So I feel proudly to have worked in Colombia, be coaching again and have won this great victory.”


Juan Carlos Cruz, Cuban coach: “We could not defeat Colombia again. Maybe my team with so little experience was overconfident and the rivals did not give any chance. Nevertheless we are happy because of having qualified to the major event and, moreover, having got to the final match with unexperienced girls where only two have participated in other events. It only remains to keep on working to have a dignified performance in the world championship.”


Valerin Carabali, Colombian captain: “We fought up to the last point avoiding the team, who had defeated us once, not to do it again. We entered the court with all our weapons and we are here giving Colombia its first title at a Pan American Cup at this category and its qualification to the major event as well.”


Elizabeth Vicet, Cuban captain: “In spite of the loss, we feel happily as we could give our people the qualification to the WCH and to the final match of this tournament. From now on we will have to work harder for such major event in Argentina where we expect to have a decorous performance.”