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 ".
- Published in Sports