Cuba dominates tough match against Mexico

BARRANQUILLA, Mexico, July 29, 2018.- Cuba dominated Mexico 3-0 (25-23, 25-18, 25-18) in a tough pool A match of the men’s volleyball tournament at the 2018 Barranquilla XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games at Humberto Perea Coliseum.

Cuba and Mexico engaged an emotional duel, with force at the net and stunning blocks, adding to the high energy in their performers. Cuba dismantled Mexico with 21-17 advantage in the first set with their towering blocks. During the exchange of court to start set three, Pedro Rangel of Mexico and Adrian Goide of Cuba were expelled for improperly conduct.

Cubans defeated Mexico with 44-33 superiority in spikes and 6-0 aces. Mexico was better in blocking with 7-3 advantage. Cuba scored 22 points on Mexico’s errors, committing 19 unforced error of their own.

Opposite player Miguel Gutierrez of Cuba, led all scorers with 16 points, on 13 kills and 3 aces; wing spikers Miguel López and Osniel Mergarejo finished with 15 and 10 points accordingly. Wing spiker Gonzalo Ruiz led Mexico with 13 points, the only one from his team with double-figures.

Cuba with 2-0 record will finish pool-play against Dominican Republic who stands with 0-2 mark; while Mexico and Venezuela meet in a die or live match, both with 1-1 record.

Top scorer Miguel Gutierrez said, “Mexico always plays tough against us, they are heated games. We are here to win every single match, with our strong presence. Cuba always thinks of winning and tomorrow we’ll finish pool-play just the same”.

Cuban head coach Ernesto Nicolas expressed, “Mexico is an opponent that knows how to play volleyball. We always come out to win. At the end the result is what determines who the winner is. My boys have worked well, they are motivated and disciplined. There was a small confusion, my players are young and it didn’t go any further, these are things that happen in sports; Cuba and Mexico are friends. Tomorrow we finish against Dominican Republic and we will do the same, play strong”.

Jorge Azair head coach of Mexico said he has a team that responds well, “our libero was injured yesterday and we used our substitute libero, today we needed to use our second setter. Cuba’s blocking performance made the difference. In set one, we were unnecessarily anxious; we were up by three points and started to commit unforced errors. This is the toughest pool and the competition doesn’t end here, we’ll go out and die tomorrow against Venezuela”.