Cuba gold and ticket to the U21 World Championship

Cuba won the gold and the only ticket available to the FIVB 2019 World Championship by beating the Dominican Republic 3-0 (25-16, 25-15, 25-20) in The Norceca Sub-21 Men's Volleyball Tournament.

In the most coherent match of the tournament, stable level as efficiency in the receipt and serve, the host improved the bronze that Cuba obtained in the last event in Gatineau 2016, where the United States and Canada led in that order, while for the Dominicans it was their second metal in the history of the category, since they also achieved silver in 1998.

The hosts surpassed their combative adversaries in attack (38-28) and service (9-3), were inferior in blocking (5-8), but committed only 12 errors to 23 by the visitors.

The opposite José Carlos Romero was the leading scorer with 16 and was followed by Julio Cárdenas with 12 points, while for the Dominicans Bayron Valdez with 15 again was the workhorse of his team.

Jesús Ángel Cruz, local coach, said that "there were no gaps, some bad times normal in this age, but we never left the control of the match, since we started we took it by the hand and maintained the intensity, which was not the case against in the initial set of the duel in the group A, as also with Canada in the semifinal, but tonight was the opposite because we knew that we played the classification to the World Championship".

"The current generation of the national team is very good and we hope this group added to it because it also has talent and as this becomes a reality with those who continue to ascend we can aspire to insert ourselves on the world level, to the people, to those who follow us who have confidence of the youth that there is in the Cuban School of Volleyball, that has had difficult moments, but it has never disappeared,” he said.

For his part the young Romero said that "the coach told us that for having beaten the Dominicans in the group we could not trust because they came with encouragement and desire to continue triumphing, to make everything strong, the game of us and so it went, and we feel happy because it is the result of so much training and sacrifices."

José Dante Mañón, Dominican coach expressed excited that "it is a silver that tastes gold, in history we had never defeated the United States in a Norceca, despite the size of my boys with theirs and Cuba, they have to double effort, and other details come together and go out, Bayron, the best attacker of the tournament, and today looked exhausted like the Americans against Canada.

"This was a tournament with many games and very short, only rest those who advance directly to the semifinals, and today fatigue has been the main factor against the performance of my team," he added.

Bayron, the captain of the “quisqueyanos”, explained that "it was a tournament of excellent level, we could not win the title but today we did what we could, we are a little tired, but that is not an excuse, although I wanted to win, I do not settle with nothing, however I cannot deny that I'm happy with this medal and I have to be proud of it ".

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Dominican Republic one step away from a fourth gold medal

The Dominican Republic earned the right to defend their title of U23 Pan American Cup champion, after overcoming Cuba 3-1 (22-25, 25-16, 25-13, 25-21) in the first semi-final match at the Manuel Bonilla Coliseum in Miraflores.

Brayelin Martinez was in charge of guiding her team to victory by scoring 24 points, followed by Gaila Gonzalez and Jineiry Martinez with 13 points each and Natalia Martinez who finished with 10 points. For Cuba, Diaris Pérez and Ailama Cese led with 17 and 13 points respectively.

Dominicana had the advantage in attacks (54-45), blocking (12-8) and service (3-2). The winning team committed 20 unforced errors and the loser had 28.

The Dominican Republic setter, Yokaty Pérez: "In the first set we gave in to the pressure of playing a semifinal, Cuba is a difficult opponent but from the second set we were leaving behind the pressure and taking our pace of play. Tomorrow we will deliver everything on the field to keep the gold."

The captain of Cuba, Gretell Moreno: "We are a young group and we still need to engage a little more as a team. This defeat leaves us as a lesson that we must work more in the definition of our attack and in the speed of our defense, they played many short balls and we did not know how to react. Although we will not fight for gold, the team has grown a lot; we are girls of different categories who started working together from this year on and as we advance in the competitions we will be more cohesive".

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New baseball entity formed in Dominican Republic in push to qualify for Tokyo 2020 Olympics

The Dominican Olympic Baseball Programme (“PROBEISBOL”) has been launched with the goal of qualifying for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games.

With support from the business sector, led by entrepreneur Felipe Vicini, together with the Ministry of Sports (MIDEREC), the Dominican Olympic Committee (COD) and the Dominican Professional Baseball League (LIDOM), the new group has been formed to boost the Dominican Baseball Federation (FEDOBE) and boost the nation’s Olympic hopes.

FEDOBE President Tito Pereyra said the initiative would help give Dominican baseball the place it deserves at the world level.

Six-time MLB All-Star Moisés Alou has been announced as part of Probeisbol’s management team, and group’s first objective has been set: to finish the year ranked as one of the 12 best countries in the world.

The Top 12 nations in the end-of-the-year 2018 WBSC Baseball World Rankings will qualify for the flagship Premier12 global championship, where the top finisher from the Americas (and top finisher from Asia/Oceania) will earn a place in Tokyo 2020.

The Dominican Republic, currently the world No. 12, will look to collect ranking points at the U-15 Baseball World Cup and the U-23 Baseball World Cup this year, as well as other WBSC-sanctioned (U-12 to professional) events on the calendar.

LIDOM President Vitelio Mejía said the league was ready to provide its support and increased flexibility with regard to player availability for national team selection and training.

The National Baseball Team of the Dominican Republic has qualified once for the Olympics (Barcelona 1992).

Baseball is known as the “King of Sports” in the Dominican Republic. The nation with approximately 10 million people boasts some of the biggest stars in the game, which was showcased in Dominican Republic’s win of the 2013 World Baseball Classic.

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Cuban Singer Songwriter Performs in Dominican Republic

Cuban singer-songwriter Liuba María Hevia captivated her audience with her music at the concert she dedicated to her compatriots in Plaza Simón Bolívar, in the Dominican capital.

The performance, organized by the Cuban Embassy in this nation and the Máximo Gómez Association of Cuban Residents here, was a great success. As Cuban Ambassador Carlos Jesús de la Nuez said, 'Liuba's concerts treasure the best of the human being and they are addressed to everyone.'

The singer-songwriter, who was accompanied by Dominican Laura Sánchez, sang essential songs by composers María Elena Walsh, from Argentina, and Teresita Fernández, from Cuba, among other authors.

Speaking to Prensa Latina at the end of the concert, Liuba, as her followers identify her, said that she was happy with the concert.

'It was a meeting with Cubans, with Cuban children and it was a journey of children's songs, although at the end I sang other things and it was a preamble to Mother's Day in the Dominican Republic.'

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Dominican Republic suffers second five-set loss

Belgium teenager Britt Herbots summoned up every ounce of energy she had left to deliver another superb attacking performance and lead her team to a pressure-packed 3-2 (25-16, 18-25, 25-18, 19-25, 15-7) victory over the Dominican Republic on the third day of the inaugural women's FIVB Volleyball Nations League on Thursday.

The 18-year-old Herbots showed no signs of tiring as the epic match ticked past two hours in duration as she racked up a game high 26 points and the Europeans rebounded from their straight-sets loss to China on Wednesday to claim their second win in Pool 2 after beating Korea 3-0 on Tuesday.

Wing spiker Celine Van Gestel and opposite spiker Kaja Grobelna each finished with 14 points while Marlies Janssens led the defence with four blocks in her eight points as Belgium withstood a fierce comeback from the never-say-die Dominican Republic, who endured the agony of two successive five-set defeats.

Dominican Republic finished the pool with three losses but might have had two wins had fortune gone their way. Outclassed by China, they suffered an exhausting and heart-breaking 3-2 defeat to Korea on Wednesday before coming so close against the fresher Belgians on Thursday.

Brayelin Martinz, who racked up 31 points in the loss to Korea, once again spearheaded the Dominican Republic challenge, finishing on 15 points, tied with Jeoselyna Rodriguez Santos, who came on as a substitute after the first set and made a huge impact.

Belgium travel to Toyota next week for Pool 5 matches against the host-nation Japan as well as the Netherlands and USA while Dominican Republic will head to to Ankara to play in Pool 8 alongside hosts Turkey as well as Argentina and Brazil.

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Association of Cubans in Dominican Rep. Repudiates Trump's Hostility

The Maximo Gomez Association of Cubans in the Dominican Republic repudiated the hostile behavior by the U.S. administration of President Donald Trump and its interference in the internal affairs of Latin American peoples.

In a communiqué issued in the province of Santiago, where the Ordinary General Assembly of that organization took place, they denounced the aforementioned interference in Venezuela and the support for the destabilization of democracy in Brazil, where former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva was arrested.

They also declared their 'irrevocably support for our country, our President and the Revolution, aware of the historic moment that we have lived.'

The Association reviewed its performance and elected its leadership in an emotional meeting attended by Cubans from several Dominican provinces and members of the Cuban diplomatic mission, headed by Ambassador Carlos Jesús de la Nuez.

The reelected president of the Association addressed the audience with words of gratitude for the Solidarity with Cuba campaign, which has been an important support for the association and to strive every day to value and talk about the genuine beliefs of the Revolution, he claimed.

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Puerto Rico vs Dominican Republic for Caribbean Series crown

Anthony Garcia hit a grand slam and Puerto Rico rallied past Venezuela 6-5 on Wednesday to reach the championship game of the Caribbean Series for the second consecutive year.

Looking for back-to-back titles, Puerto Rico will play the Dominican Republic, which came back to beat Cuba 7-4 in the late semifinal.

The final on Thursday night features the two winningest countries in the history of the event. Puerto Rico has 16 championships and the Dominicans own 19, including their last one in 2012.

The last time Puerto Rico won two in a row was 1992-93.

Garcia's grand slam in the sixth inning tied the game, and Jesmuel Valentin scored on an error by catcher Tomas Telis in the seventh as the Caguas Criollos went on to defeat the Anzoategui Caribes.

Venezuela was trying to qualify for its first championship game since 2009.

In the late game, the Granma Alazanes from Cuba opened a 3-0 lead in the second inning but the Aguilas Cibaeýas came from behind to win.

Cuba went ahead with RBI from Frederich Cepeda, Carlos Benitez and Raul Gonzýlez. But then Ronny Rodrýguez hit a two-run homer in the sixth, and Edwin Espinal knocked in two runs in a three-run seventh as the Dominicans took the lead.

The Dominicans qualified for their first final since 2014, when they lost to the Hermosillo Naranjeros.

Cuba was eliminated in the semifinals for the second year in a row.

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Casanova contributes 27 points to Cuban victory

Heidy Casanova recorded a tournament-high 27 points as Cuba stormed past Chile in straight sets 3-0 (25-12, 25-17, 25-19) improving their record at 2-1 in Pool B of the XVI Women’s Volleyball Pan American Cup by Movistar at Eduardo Dibós Coliseum of Lima on Monday. Chile is winless in three outings.

Casanova was the only Cuban player with double figures in the balanced offense of Cuba where Regla Gracia and Laura Suarez contributed 9 and 8 points, respectively. Catalina Melo was the best Chilean with 14 points.

Cuba dominated in attacks 53-26 and held the advantages in blocks and 6-3 in service winners.

Sulien Matienzo, Captain of Cuba: “We went out to battle for the points and now we have to play hard against Dominican Republic in our next match.”

Catalina Melo, Captain of Chile: “It was a very tough match, but we need to learn to play against teams like Cuba. I think we have been playing better and better.”

Wilfredo Robinson, Coach of Cuba: “We didn’t want to allow that many points to Chile, but they have grown with the competition. Our goal is to win at least one set or two against Dominican Republic.”

Eduardo Guillaume, Coach of Chile: “The attack of Cuba was very strong as usual, but today they were accurate also. It was very difficult for us to play.”

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