TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 14, 2022.- Cuba scored their fourth victory in a row after defeating Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-17, 23-25, 25-20, 25-20) at the NORCECA Final Six Pan American Cup at the Amado Nervo Auditorium in Tepic, Nayarit.
Cuba with a 4-0 record will finish the preliminary round in first place even if they fall to Mexico on Friday. Puerto Rico with a 2-2 record will end the first phase of the event against Canada (3-1).
Cuba held huge margins in attacks (52-38) and blocks (11-5), and a comfortable 7-3 advantage in serves. Puerto Rico committed fewer errors than Cuba (28-36).
Outside hitter Julio Cesar Cardenas was Cuba’s leading scorer with 15 points, middle blocker Javier Concepcion and opposite hitter Jesus Herrera followed with 11 points each.
Puerto Rican Klistan Lawrence scored a match-high of 19 points.
Yonder García, Libero of Cuba: “En general nos sentimos en óptimas condiciones, preparándonos para el Challenger el próximo mes, además de que tenemos la Copa Panamericana en Canadá. Varios jugadores están con buen nivel y todos son efectivos a la hora de entrar a la cancha, algunos descansaron hoy. Mañana le jugaremos duro a México, como lo hemos hecho ante todos los rivales, la meta es tener buenos resultados”.
Arturo Iglesias, Captain of Puerto Rico: “Cuba is very physical, powerful, and strong; despite all I believe we competed well. We started a bit soft, in the second set we had better rhythm, but they (Cuba) had the necessary strength to win. We had more confidence, and we were able to take the second set. We will compete to reach the finals”.
Nicolás Vives, Head Coach of Cuba: “The guys are doing well. We did some changes, necessary to observe all our players, we got the victory which is important, and we are going one step at a time for next tournaments. This is an important competition for world ranking, but we must see every player thinking about future situations”.