SANTIAGO, Chile, November 3, 2023.- Argentina beat Cuba 3-1 (21-25, 25-22, 25-18, 25-18) in semifinals to defend their Pan American title in the Men’s Volleyball tournament at the 19th Pan American Games Santiago 2023 at the Arena Parque O’Higgins.
Argentina will seek its third consecutive gold medal, their fourth gold overall (Mar del Plata 1995, Toronto 2015, Lima 2019). Argentina has won every time it has reached the title match at the Pan American Games. Argentina also has four bronze medals.
The defending champion, Argentina, will face the winner of the other semifinal between Brazil and Colombia in the Santiago 2023 title match on Saturday, while Cuba will vie for its fourth bronze medal in the history of the Games against the loser.
After recovering from losing the first set, Argentina outscored Cuba 50 to 47 in attacking points, 13 to 7 in blocking points, and 3 to 2 in points from serves. Additionally, they scored 30 points from Cuban errors and handed out 27.
Argentina’s opposite Bruno Lima was the top attacker of the match with 24 points on 19 kills and 5 blocks. Contributing to the victory were captain Facundo Conte with 16 points, on 14 kills and 2 blocks, and middle blocker Gustavo Maciel with 10 points, including a match-high of 6 blocks, 3 attacks, and one ace.
Cuba’s captain, Miguel Angel López, led his team with 20 points, on 18 kills and two aces, joined by opposite Alejandro González with 18 kill points and middle blocker José Israel Masso with 12 points, on 8 kills and 4 blocks.
Argentina’s middle blocker Gustavo Maciel said, “We knew it would be tough because historically Cuba is a very strong team. We had to rotate the serve as fast as we could, in this case López’s serve, and we did it very well, and that’s what we had to aim for… and the victory came. We’re in the final!”
Cuban libero Yonder García, said “The beginning of the match was very good for us, but in the second set, things didn’t go as we expected, and the opponent surpassed us. We didn’t get the victory as we wanted to, but we’re going for the bronze medal. When we face Argentina and Brazil, the show is on!”