Cuba defeats Argentina in dramatic five-sets
COLIMA, Mexico, June 16, 2019. - Cuba defeated Argentina in
dramatic five-sets 3-2 (32-30, 25-20, 22-25, 17-25, 15-13) in
their opening match at the fourteenth Men’s Pan American Cup in
the Multifunctional Auditorium of Colima, Mexico.
Argentina led the entire first set only to lose three set points
(24-21) and reaching a dramatic 32-30 in Cuba’s favor. Still the
South American squad extended the actions bouncing back from 0-2
set-deficit. It was a match full of emotions, intensity and
powerful spikes as well as blocks.
Cuba led in blocks with huge 13-5 margin, while Argentina led in
attacks 62-59. Both teams scored on 5 aces; in addition, Cuba
committed more errors (41-34).
Cubans used a balanced scoring attack with wing spikers Marlon
Yang and Miguel Angel López on 16 points apiece; wing spiker
Osniel Mergarejo registered 12 points, while middle blockers
Roamy Alonso and Javier Concepción tallied 11 points apiece.
Argentinean Nicolas Bruno led all scorers with 23 points on 22
kills and one ace; opposite German Johansen joined in with 14
points and wing spiker Nicolás Lazo added 10 points.
On Monday, Cuba (1-0) meets with Canada (1-0) and Argentina
(0-1) faces Suriname (0-1).
Miguel Angel López, top scorer Cuba: “We were aware it was going
to be a tough match, Argentina always presents teams technically
and tactically well prepared. We also have lots of potential and
we were confident in our performance. I believe we were better
in blocking and attacks”.
Nicolás Bruno, captain Argentina: “We are both aggressive teams,
both of us want the Cup and both sides committed errors, a bit
more on our side, mostly in the first set. It was a nice game
and it’s a shame we lost”.
Nicolás Vives, coach Cuba: “We made some changes that gave
result, we are preparing for the Pan American Games. In the
fifth set we adjusted to come out on top. Argentina is a team
high quality team that dominated the match on many occasions. We
must work on concentrating better because they are young, with
an average of 21 years old”.
Fabián Maruco, coach Argentina: “It’s really difficult to
summarize such a hard match because both teams performed really
well on occasions. It was very emotional, but also technical and
tactical from both sides, it seemed more a chess match than a
volleyball one. The first set was in our hands, luckily my team
kept on playing, which is difficult to recover from”.