Cuba beat Puerto Rico in a long epic battle of the Caribbean that was decided in five sets with a victory for the Cuban squad 18-25, 26-24, 25-20, 21-25 and 15-12.
Maurice Torres was the scoring leader for Puerto Rico, with 24 points, included 2 aces, while Hector Soto closed with 11. On the Cuban side, captain Rolando Cepeda finished with 22 points, two of them by service and Javier Jimenez Scull closed with 17.
“We served very well, kept pressure and put them in trouble. However we couldn’t defend and couldn’t block, so that’s why we lost the match”, Soto said.
“It was our first match. We made many mistakes and lost a lot of of concentration in the first set and that’s why we finished 3-2, but we expect to improve in our next match against Dominican Republic,” Cepeda mentioned.
“Despite the victory, we are not satisfied because we had too many errors. After the World Leage tournament finished we spent almost a month without playing on our top level and this was our first match in such a time,” Cuban coach Rodolfo Sanchez remarked.
“We must improve today’s mistakes, because we want to remain in the World League groups by taking part in this tournament, and also must prepare for the World Championship in Poland. The Pan American Cup is a more serious competition, because it is now a qualification event,” said Puerto Rico’s coach David Aleman.