Cuba wins Bronze over Puerto Rico at Men’s Pan Am Cup

CORDOBA, Mexico, September 2, 2018.- Cuba beat Puerto Rico 3-1 (20-25, 25-9, 25-18, 25-17) winning the bronze medal match of the thirteenth Pan American Cup at the Arena Cordoba in Cordoba, Mexico.

Cuba repeats the same position as the past edition, winning their third overall bronze medal in the history of the Men’s Pan American Cup (2007, 2017) coming from behind with overwhelming victory over Puerto Rico.

Cuba capitalized on their ability to keep Puerto Rico with little options to respond to their strong presence over the net. Puerto Rico lacked their usual energy and making several line-up variations. 

Cuba prevailed with overwhelming 14-3 blocking advantage and 9-2 margin in aces. The winners also held advantage in spikes 48-43 while scoring on 24 opponent errors, allowing a total of 21 points on their own.

Wing spiker Marlon Yang led Cuba with 19 points including 13 kills and 4 aces, wing spiker Miguel Angel Castro chipped in with 17 points on 14 kills and 3 blocks, in addition to opposite Jaime Herrera who registered 16 points including 5 powerful aces.  Puerto Rican opposite Maurice Torres scored 18 points including 15 kills, one block and 2 aces.

Cuban opposite player, Jaime Herrera indicated “the victory is four our country, it was a team effort, we were determined to not let Puerto Rico move forward. We were aggressive in blocks”.

Nicolas Vives, Cuba’s coach said his team’s performance improved in serves and blocking “we prevailed effectively in these two skills; my guys came out to fight for the bronze with determination and we are very glad”.

Angel Perez captain of Puerto Rico said “after the first set, Cuba overwhelmed us with serves and reception; this is who modern volleyball is played, we couldn’t keep up with their pressure. Cuba played better than us and deserved to win. It’s not justifying ourselves, but it’s been a rough month with our National Superior League, the Central American Games and coming here, also two of our starters (one injured and another sick) couldn’t perform today”.

Coach Oswald (Ossie) Antonetti consider his team had difficulties maybe because they’ve already reached their goal qualifying to Lima “the group is tired, we had trouble making adjustments, Cuba played very well. Important players are injured; you know when your team is on a high note and when not, this helps us to prepare for future events”.