Cuba Achieve a 3-0 Win over Puerto Rico

NOGALES, Mexico, June 12, 2024. – Cuba secured a 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-23) victory over Puerto Rico to remain undefeated at the U21 Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship in Nogales, Mexico.

On Thursday, Cuba (2-0) will compete for first place in pool B against Canada (2-0); the winner will advance directly to the semifinals. Puerto Rico (0-2) will face Guatemala (0-2) for a spot in the quarterfinals.

Cuba dominated in kills (44-30) and blocks (9-4). Puerto Rico had the edge in serves (4-1) and conceded fewer points on errors (21-27).

Carlos Javier Pereira CUB

Three Cuban players finished with double-digits, led by Carlos Pereira Larea with 16 points (15 attacks, one block), followed by Félix Rodríguez with 15 points (11 attacks, a match-high of 4 blocks), and Kelly Oviedo with 12 points (10 attacks, 2 blocks).

Lorenzo Rivera led Puerto Rico’s offense with 14 points on 13 attacks and one block.

Kelly Oviedo closed the first set by on a kill and a block. After a defensive error by Puerto Rico while Carlos Pereira was serving and then another attack from Pereira, Cuba took a 2-0 lead. In the third set, Cuba recovered from a four-point deficit (12-16) to go neck to neck with Puerto Rico, remaining tied up to 22 points, and then sealed the straight-set victory.


Carlos Pereira Larea, Cuba’s top scorer, said: “It was a very emotional match. Cuba is prepared for everything. We studied our opponent and followed the strategy set out by our coach. Tomorrow, against Canada, we will come out strong”.

Lian Sem Estrada, Cuba’s coach, said: “After struggling against Guatemala, I think that was breaking the ice for this generation, which hadn’t faced any level of competition before. Today, before the match, I told them that we are building a path, we must go step by step, and nothing has been achieved yet. We are taking it one step at a time to reach our goal of qualifying for the World Championship”.