TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 10, 2022.- Head Coaches of the teams at the NORCECA Men’s Final Six Pan American Cup gave their first statements on the eve of the competition that gets underway on Monday at the Amado Nervo Auditorium of Tepic, Nayarit.
As teams officially registered during the preliminary inquiry, Cristobal Marte Hoffiz NORCECA President confirmed that the winner of the event qualifies to the 2023 NORCECA Continental Championship. He also added that teams will earn ranking points in route to qualify for the 2023 Pan American Games of Santiago and the 2023 Central American and Caribbean Games.
Dan Ota, Head Coach of Canada: “We have a young squad, we don’t have a lot of international experience, but we are really excited about this group because they have physical talent and great potential for international play. We had a couple of scrimmage matches against our host Mexico and it looks promising so far that maybe our team could have a great result here. If we stay healthy, keep performing and improving every day we’ll have a very good result”.
Nicolás Vives, Head Coach of Cuba: “Our intentions are to give our best, prepare well for the FIVB World Challenger Cup which is our next most important immediate competition (end of the month), we are gearing up. We are also preparing for the Pan American Cup and the World Championship. Cuba’s major objective is always to win the competition”.
Alexander Gutierrez, Head Coach of Dominican Republic: “Our team has grown, it’s very young with an average of 21 years old; there is more youth than experience, but the experienced players contribute a lot to our youngsters. This competition has different characteristics from the final four, with Mexico and Puerto Rico having other figures, while we have the same base because we are in the process of our young players’ growth thinking of their future, in addition to the enrichment of having the United States and Canada. For us it’s an addition to our experience”.
Jorge Azair, Head Coach of Mexico: “It’s an interesting competition, with high quality teams, Cuba is bringing their first team and we know that United States and Canada always have competitive squads. Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and us always battle strong. It will be a nice competition, and the best of it is that it is in my country”.
Owald Antonetti, Head Coach of Puerto Rico: “We are taking this summer as a big step in establishing several players that are moving up; after last summer’s success, we want to strengthen our teams’ success with new guys, and we want them to understand the importance of volleyball in Puerto Rico. This tournament is one step towards competing in the World Championship, we are testing players”.
Andy Read, Head Coach of United States: “I think my team is very well prepared, the competition will be excellent, all six teams are very strong here and the host city is also well prepared, they are excited to have the competition here. We will hopefully have great crowds and supportive for everyone and the USA will play very well”.