Cuba virtual champion by defeating Puerto Rico
PINAR DEL RÍO, June 8, 2018.- Cuba confirmed their status as
favorite by beating the undefeated Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-18,
25-22, 25-20) to virtually secure the ticket of the NORCECA
Volleyball Challenger Cup to the World Final which offers a spot
to the League of Nations FIVB 2019.
In Sala 19 de Noviembre, both teams that staged the most
contested match attacked by the ends and also by the center to
open the blockade, and Cuba obtained better results in the first
and second set, and those of the home side greatly benefited
from the best organization in the defense its side.
The top scorer was Miguel Ángel López (14), followed by Liván
Osoria and Miguel David Gutiérrez, each with 12 points, and
Osniel Melgarejo (10), while Puerto Rican Eddie Rivera was the
only in double digits with 11 marks.
Nicolás Vives, technical director of the hosts, said that "my
team played very well, the boys performed excellently, but we
have to continue working on negative aspects to get better
performance at the Central American and Caribbean Games in
Barranquilla. I think this victory is important to go to the
other tournament of Challengers, where we will play five games
of the highest level, and develop little by little.”
"Today I had to maintain my regular team because the Puerto
Ricans showed what they know, play very well, it's a team with a
lot of talent and experience, a rival that has to be played well
from start to finish. The reception, we have emphasized that
element, but I am not satisfied yet".
His captain, center Liván Osoria, said excitedly that "we went
from less to more, the goal was fulfilled and tomorrow we win to
Costa Rica we have the opportunity to go to another tournament
that allows us more preparation for the Central American and
Caribbean Games of Barranquilla , where we aim to conquer the
gold, playing more than 20 games the six that we were in
professional leagues has contributed to having more confidence,
to forgetting about the public and its pressure, in short, it
has been vital".
For his part, Puerto Rico Ramón Burgos said that "we play at a
very high level, we move from less to more in the tournament, we
made mistakes today that could have been avoided to achieve
victory, but I am very proud of my group, of our coach and all
those who have helped us. This is not the end, we have the Pan
American Cup, the Barranquilla Games and the World Cup in
Bulgaria and Italy, and in almost all of them we will find the
same with Cuba, so to prepare. "
The head coach of the Puerto Rican Manuel Acevedo acknowledged
that "Cuba reduced the number of errors that characterized them
and tightened very well after point 20. In the three sets we
played fairly even, but in the end the experience of them and
something paradoxical, was supposed that we were the defensive
team, on the other hand they did it well and we got complicated
in the transition, we were not effective in something that we
depend on that, to lift balls and the passes were extended, we
could not and that is why they prevailed. Cuba is a team with
and I am pleased with the balance of the tournament and the way
the team played, the illusion was the ticket, but we came to
this meeting with the possibility and it was fought ".
"The young players had an important experience, especially two
of them had never been starters in a competition and of the 12
we will evaluate seven or eight to continue the year with us."
Tomorrow these are the matches: 15:30 Trinidad-Tobago vs
Guatemala and 18:30 Cuba vs Costa Rica.