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Cuba qualifies to FIVB U19 Boys’ World Championship

SAN JOSE, Costa Rica, June 9, 2018.- Cuba defeated Guatemala 3-0 (25-10, 25-17, 25-15) at the NORCECA U19 Boys’ Continental Championship semifinal match and qualified to next year’s FIVB age-group World Championship.

Defending champion Cuba earned one of two berths to the World Championship next year and will play for their fifth and second consecutive NORCECA title on Sunday against the other semifinal winner, Puerto Rico or United States.

Cuba and Guatemala met in pool-play earlier in the tournament, with the same outcome. Cuba’s attackers hammered Guatemala with strength, this time with 42-16 margin in attacks, 10-0 in blocks and 9-1 in serves. Guatemala committed less scoring errors 14-25.

Wing spiker José Gutierrez was Cuba’s top scorer with 13 points on 11 kills, joined by middle blocker Luis Vidal Allen and opposite Alexei Ramirez with 11 points apiece; setter Christian Thondike tallied 10 points.

Wing spiker José Gutiérrez of Cuba: “we can’t be less excited, we reached our goal to qualify to the world championship and now we have all intentions of winning the title. It wasn’t a demanding game, but I congratulate Guatemala for their effort”.

Coach Mario Izquierdo of Cuba: “this is Cuba’s new volleyball generations, they are disciplined, tactic and with good physical strength; these are boys from several provinces in Cuba and I really satisfied with their effort to qualify to the world championship. This team is well prepared many people to thank and that are involved in this project of young Cuban talents. We will face the title match with the same energy”.