Cuba beat Guatemala to start Challengers Cup
PINAR DEL RÍO, Cuba, June 5, 2018 Cuba had no difficulties to
defeat Guatemala 3-0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-16) in the closing match
of day one of the NORCECA Men's Challenger Cup where one ticket
is available for the World Final qualifying to the League of
Nations of the FIVB 2019.
The favorites were superior in all the aspects of the match, in
which the top scorers were the opposite Miguel David Gutiérrez
(12) and the outsider hitter Osniel Melgarejo (10). For the
Central Americans the one who contributed more to his team was
the opposite Leonel Aragón with 6 marks.
Nicolás Vives, the Cuban coach highlighted the fulfillment by
his boys in the work of the service and the blocking. "It worked
very well, that was the strategy, blocking the diagonal as we
also made some important changes to make it possible for
everyone to play because it is their first match as a team."
"They also have the option to develop, we want the reserves to
play and be ready for any complication, and because there may
still be some changes in the squad for the Central American and
Caribbean Games of Barranquilla."
Liván Osoria, captain of the host, said that "this encounter
helped us to get loose and go into play, because a while ago we
did not play as a selection in official events, I think that as
the competition progresses we will raise the level and the main
objective is to win the Cup, there cannot be other than that. "
The Cuban Reider Lucas Mora, head coach of Guatemala, talked
about what it means to face the best team of the event. "The
hosts have improved a lot, their level is impressive for this
type of event in the area and we have a lot to gain and little
to lose, but my boys did not play as we would have liked, a
little more performance, they were confused and did not trust in
them, but I hope that starting tomorrow they will improve ".
Even though he did not mention it, the fact is the group arrived
almost at dawn delayed by the situation of the volcano in
Guatemala, and only trained a few minutes because the trip
lasted almost 24 hours, but it was worth the enthusiasm these
young guys showed when entered the court.
His captain Carlos Lopez said that "we do not fit well, we made
too many errors in the receipt and also in the blocking we were
out of focus, but at the end of the game we squeeze and leave
with that feeling that we know we can do things well and that in
the rest of this Cup we will do what we can."