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Cuba still in quest for a Pan Am Games berth

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic, July 11, 2018 – Cuba advanced to the battle for the 5th to 8th positions at the Women’s Pan America Cup after a 3-2 (25-18, 21-25, 14-25, 25-23, 15-8) victory over Argentina on Wednesday.

The top-five finishers in the competition secure tickets to next year’s Pan America Games in Lima, Peru.

Laura Suarez and Sulian Matienzo registered 18 and 17 points, respectively, as the offensive leaders of Cuba in the match. Diaris Pérez and Regla Gracia contributed 13 and 11 in the victory.

Paula Nizetich had a tournament-high 24 points in the losing effort as her side played their third match of five sets in four days. Elina Rodriguez and Lucia Fresco finished with 14 and 12, respectively.

Sulian Matienzo, captain of Cuba: We played very bad in the second and third sets and our coach complained to motivate us and we recovered to get the win.

Paula Nizetich, captain of Argentina: We have had many ups and downs throughout the tournament. Cuba hurt us with the serves. They deserved the victory.

Wilfredo Robinson, coach of Cuba: We have a lot of respect for Argentina which I consider a dangerous opponent. We have improved our game, especially the reception and the blocking.

Guillermo Orduna, coach of Argentina: The result comes from our own mistakes in the key moments. Cuba used players off the bench who delivered.