Young Guatemalan team attempts upset but loses to Cuba

WINNIPEG, Canada, September 2, 2019 -   Despite an exciting second-set challenge, Guatemala was not able to hold off the Cuban team today and the match score was 3-0 (25-13, 37-35, 25-14) to open the 2019 Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.

Osniel Lazaro Melgarejo was top scorer for Cuba with 14 points, and teammates Marlon Yang and Javier Concepción contributed 10 each. Wagner Chacon was top scorer for the losing side with 12 points.

Cuba has already locked up a spot in the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier next January, but still has the goal to win this tournament.

Cuba head coach Yosvany Muñoz Perez: “We didn’t play very well today. We made a lot of mistakes. Guatemala is a young team and with another team with more experience, I don’t know what could have happened.  I am happy with the win, but we need to increase our level with the next match.”

Guatemala head coach, Reider Lucas Mora: “We were ready for a really strong game against Cuba.  We fought really hard in the second set with six chances to win the set and our players left everything on the court. I am proud of them today….  We are going against another strong team tomorrow, but we will work hard to get better every day of the tournament.”

Tournament note: It was announced on Sunday that this is now a seven-team tournament after Suriname withdrew at the last minute.