Cuba tops Pool A to advance into Barranquilla Semifinals

BARRANQUILLA, Colombia, July 30, 2018.- Cuba topped pool A after defeating Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-22, 25-12, 25-14) advancing into the men’s volleyball tournament semifinals of the 2018 Barranquilla 2018 XXIII Central American and Caribbean Games at Humberto Perea Coliseum.

Cuba had no setbacks in their final pool-play match using all their players while storming over defending champions Dominican Republic. Cuba wins pool A with unbeaten 3-0 record and moves into Thursday’s semifinals.

Cuba´s impressive 14-1 advantage in blocking was too much for Dominican Republic. The winners also led with 33-30 attacking margin and 9-1 in aces.  Cuba finished with fewer errors (16-19).

Only two players scored double-figures, middle blocker Livan Osoria led Cuba with 14 points, including 5 blocks and 3 aces; and Dominican opposite player Henry Tapia scored 16 points all in kills.

Cuba’s top scorer, Livan Osoria expressed “our level is much higher than theirs, so they weren’t performing with energy. We were calm because we want to save energy for following matches. We were expecting to win easily. We executed almost every skill, as humans we committed errors but not that much. Our goal is to win the tournament”.

Ernesto Nicolas Vive, Head coach of Cuba said “this is one more step, there are two left and we are looking forward to make them. We are happy. Everybody had the opportunity to play, but I am very demanding, I want my team to comply, to perform seriously and with good quality. Today we practiced real situations to be ready”.

Venezuelan Jose Gutierrez, head coach for Dominican Republic said this pool was the toughest one, “the possibility to leave empty handed was always there. Cuba is the tournament’s favorite. It’s not easy to be coaching this team for only three months, we are making changes, it was difficult to have the entire squad, even now there are some injured players and the challenge is to be ready for the Pan American Cup that qualifies to the Pan American Games. We must work hard to prepare better”.