Cuba beat Dominican Republic and claimed the championship at the V U23 Men’s Pan American Cup

Cuba beat Dominican Republic and claimed the championship at the V U23 Men’s Pan American Cup
Fecha de publicación: 
17 July 2023
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Cuba retained their crown undefeated while beating Dominican Republic 3-0 (35-33, 25-21, 25-14) and winning the gold medal at the V U23 Men’s Pan American Cup, that was held successfully this past week at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.

Both teams qualified for the North, Central American and Caribbean Confederation (NORCECA) to the II Junior Pan American Games of 2025.

For the second consecutive day the local team beat the Dominicans, but on today with a higher performance, managing better numbers in attacks(51-26) and in serves (10-0), however the opponents were higher in blocks (10-11) and in unforced errors (28-5).

Three players of the home team scored double digits, outside hitter José Ramón Gómez with 18 points (15 attacks and  three aces), opposite Alejandro Miguel González, scored 17 (14-2-1) and attacker-receiver Bryan Camino with 14 (12-0-2).

The only Dominican with double digits was opposite Adrián José Figueroa with 10 kill points. Middle blocker Alexander Ortiz added eight, seven on monster blocks.

Cuban head coach, Jesús Cruz, explained that “there was too many nerves at the beginning, a lot of anxiety, maybe because you know you’re able to beat your opponent, and in the reality, you are superior, it cost us the first set when we gave them the opportunity to play one on one, which wasn’t the tournaments’ reality. In the end we closed the set, and that shook off the tension that we had to win. The next was calmer and our opponent gave in the third”.

“This Cup gave these players the possibility to compete, some don’t see the importance of these type of tournaments, we do. We have little opportunity to go to international events, so we must take advantage to see our athlete’s growth. We train a lot, but we can evaluate during a competition. No matter the level of the event nor where it takes place, we always have to take advantage” he added.

Cuban libero Yumichael Lawrence, who made his first international appearance said, “the tournament had ups and downs, in the end we reached our goals. We started today’s match unfocused, but we were able to recover from those errors and come out with the win, that’s what counts”.

Dante Mañón, Dominican coach, spoke about the match in general. “We played well for two sets, but I think with the inconveniences and that my players were mad, they lost the will to keep playing. If you play against Cuba and as hosts, and you also must face referees calling plays against you, anyone loses energy, because the host team is hard to beat as a team”.

“This is a good group, we must keep on working, taking young players to practice at our country’s capital. We will call them to practice with us the entire year to get better results”.

Bryan “Pepen” Turbides, Dominican outside hitter said, “it was a really good match despite that we weren’t successful, however we started the first set well, we must improve many things that cost us the game”.

“Nevertheless, we are happy because we came to qualify to the Junior Pan American Games and to win a medal, it doesn’t matter if it was the silver medal, we are proud because we are a young team and we have been working in our progress, that’s why we feel great”.


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