HAVANA, Cuba, October 3, 2022.- Cuba defeated Haiti 3-1 in the closing of the first day of the U21 Men’s Pan American Cub, after the visitor’s tough performance in front of their fans at the Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum.
In the pool B match, the hosts had to calm their nerves and organize their game to stop their enthusiastic opponents and finally perform at their real level of play to overcome by 18-25, 25-17, 25-12 y 25-11.
In the end the host sustained advantages in attacks (47-27), blocks (9-4) and serves (12-3), but committing more errors than Haiti (31-24).
Opposite hitter Alejandro Miguel González, under-19 and under-21 world championship player, scored a match high as well as the first day with 25 points, followed by outside hitter Bryan Camino with 17, the only ones with double digits for Cuba, also achieved by their rivals, opposite Estakend Beauvoir (11).
Jesús Cruz, Cuban head coach commented “the nerves and tension were visible, we committed more than 14 errors in the first set, we failed almost every serve. It seems it was an impact to play at Ciudad Deportiva with a competitive surrounding by the fans, the music, all of it is new for them. The moment to let out the tensions is in the first two matches, after that we can’t risk it against Canada”.
Yonni Iglesias, host captain, said “we were a bit overconfident against an inferior team, but from the second set on we recovered. Starting tomorrow we will come out with confidence, glad, perform our match and battle to win the first place of the tournament”.
Head coach of Haiti, Junior Siecle, expressed his joy “I am glad for the first set, but I knew that Cuba is better prepared physically, and it showed the difference with my team. Tomorrow we face Canada, we won’t have enough time to rest, but we will look for our team’s progress and to get more in the competition”.
The visitor’s captain Dieulengy Relis said “when we started, we were relaxed, we got in with all our force, but we knew they are a superior team. I am happy, we knew it was difficult to obtain the victory, but we are happy”.