GATINEAU, August 9, 2022- Cuba opened its title defense campaign with a 3-0 (25-17, 25-20 and 28-26) victory over Chile in Pool A action of the 15th Pan American Cup at the Slush Puppy Centre in Gatineau, Canada.
Coming from their recent victory at the Challenger Cup and qualification to the 2023 Volleyball Nations League, Cuba started out strongly, leading 8-4 at the first technical time-out and 16-10 in the second one. The Cuban kept their solid display on court and went on to win 25-17.
At the second set, Dusan Bonacic’s attacks and ace gave the South American team some momentum and led 14-12, but Miguel David Gutierrez’s ace and Marlon Yant’s spike switched the score 16-14 in Cuba’s favour. Chile never gave up and Bonacic put his squad back 20-21, but an ace by captain Miguel Angel Lopez and two solid attacks by Yant and Lopez secured the set 25-20 for the defending champions.
The third set stayed more even with Cuba’s 8-7 advantage at the first time-out, but Chile bounced back and regained the lead 15-12, with solid spikes from brothers Vicente and Tomas Parraguirre, and Bonacic. Never out of contention, Cuba tied at 23 with a 2-man block by Livan Osoria and Marlon Yant. After four match points, Julio Cesar Cardenas’ strong serve sealed the 28-26 victory and the match win.
Marlon Yant led the Cuban offense with 15 points, followed by Gutierrez (14) and Osoria (13). Vicente Parraguirre was the main figure for Chile with 17 points, supported by Bonacic (13).
Chile and Cuba play in Pool A together with the United States and the Dominican Republic.