Cuba to face Puerto Rico in Semifinals after Victory over Dominican Republic

PONCE, Puerto Rico, May 17, 2024. – Cuba triumphed in quarterfinals against the Dominican Republic 3-1 (25-15, 20-25, 28-26, 25-14) and will face Puerto Rico in the semifinals of the Boys U19 NORCECA Continental Championship in Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Cuba will face host Puerto Rico in the semifinals, while United States and Canada will compete in the other semifinal. Dominican Republic will play in the classification matches for positions 5 to 8, starting with Suriname.

Cuba overcame a determined Dominican team that managed to extend the match by repeatedly tying the scores in the second and third sets.

Cuba defeated Dominican Republic with an advantage in attack points 59 to 48, a blocking difference of 10 to 6, and service points 9 to 2. The Dominicans capitalized on 24 points from Cuban errors and conceded 20 from their own errors.

Alessandro Gonzalez Fuentes of Cuba attacks

Cuba’s offense was led by outside hitter Andy Marrero with 24 points on18 attacks, 2 blocks, and a match-high of 4 service points. Outside hitter Alessandro González added 18 points on  14 attacks, 2 blocks, and 2 aces. Opposite Yosdani Medina also contributed to the victory with 17 points on 14 attacks and 3 blocks.

Dominican opposite Malik Britton was the top scorer of the match with 29 points (26 attacks, 2 blocks, and one service point). The other Dominican player with double digits was captain Melvin De Jesús with 14 points.

Lian Sem Estrada, Coach of Cuba: “I congratulate the Dominican Republic for their total commitment and spectacular defensive work. We were able to press with our attack, and the Dominican libero performed admirably. At times, we fell into their game, but little by little we regained our playing system. Our attack managed to score in key points, the players wanted the win, and both teams knew how to fight”.