PINAR DEL RÍO, Cuba, June 5, 2022.- The Cuban team beat Mexico 3-0 (25-15, 25-21, 25-17) and added 10 points, unattainable for their rivals, and secured victory in the Norceca Challenger Final Four, as well as the quota for a similar world qualifying tournament for the League of Nations 2023.
This Sunday the hosts will say goodbye to Puerto Rico and even if they lose, they take the cup, because in the other duel, whether Mexico or the Dominican Republic wins, the team in question will achieve two successes just like the Cubans, but they would only obtain eight points, which allows them only a second place.
On Saturday against the Mexicans, the home opposite Miguel David Gutiérrez with 15 points and the corner player Marlon Yant in his debut with 14 points were the only ones with double figures, while the other leading attacker, Miguel Ángel López, contributed 9, and central defenders Roamy Alonso and Javier Concepción 6 each.
Nicolás Vives, Coach of Cuba: “Today I maintained a more stable lineup, we have to build up the team work and Mexico required a little more level than the Dominican Republic yesterday, I still require the setter Adrián Goide to work more with the fundamental attackers and introduce to Marlon Yant for communication with the setter. That’s why I kept the first four players on the court. Mexico has always been an opponent that you have to play against and the games are very good, they know how to play and they are a good team.
Roamy Alonso, Cuban middle blocker: “I see the team in good shape, today we got the victory and I’m super happy with the team and the coaching staff. Individually I feel just as good, a little tired because I’ve only been training for a week and I’m trying to take things easy, but doing my bit to contribute to the victory. In these rainy days we have been taking care of ourselves, despite giving our best”.
“With that great player that is Robertlandy Simón I am going to learn a lot, I will be like a sponge absorbing all the knowledge I can acquire to continue improving my career and what better than having a Cuban who can teach me everything”.
Jorge Miguel Azair, Coach of Mexico: “Cuba had years that they did not see the level they show again, they forced us a lot, we could not dominate our game with speed, we tried, we could not and that is what we need to do to play with these teams. There were times when we did, we complicated them; We got them aggressively, we complicated them, but the Cuban power, their service and their very powerful attack dominated us. I tell the boys that this is learning, as they say you win by losing, they have to learn to discipline themselves tactically”.
Axel Téllez, central player: “I saw my team with many ups and downs and a bit of anxiety, but it is a very new generation that we are starting from the bottom, honestly, with everything to gain and nothing to lose. My team is calm, I don’t see it sad, I don’t even want it to stay with something, but learning, because from defeats you learn much more, in the end that’s the sport, there are always victories and setbacks, the question here is only move forward without looking back and yes to what is coming”.
On the last date in the room on November 19 of this city to the west of the Island, Mexico-Dominican Republic (4:00 p.m.) and Cuba-Puerto Rico (6:00 p.m.) will face each other.