TEPIC, Nayarit, Mexico, July 11, 2022.- Cuba won the NORCECA Final Six Pan Cup opener to Dominican Republic in straight sets 3-0 (25-15-, 25-15, 25-22) at the Amado Nervo Auditorium in Tepic, Nayarit.
Cuba grabbed their first win of the preliminary round with 39-21 advantage in kills, an 8-4 margin in blocks and leading 5-3 in aces. Cuba committed 19 errors and Dominican Republic a total of 20.
Cuba’s top scorer was outside hitter Marlon Yant with 12 points on 9 kills and three aces, joined by team captain Miguel Angel Lopez with 9 points on 7 kills and 2 blocks; middle blocker Roamy Alonso added 8 points.
For Dominican Republic, outside hitter Wilfrido Hernadez led with 9 points, opposite hitter and team captain Henry Tapia contributed with 8 points and middle blocker Dawilin Mendez finished with 7 points.
On day two of competition, Cuba faces the United States and the Dominican Republic plays against Puerto Rico.
Marlon Yant, Top scorer of Cuba: “We got into rhythm little by little, I believe it was a great game to kick the tournament. We want to win all our matches, add one by one, we have practiced to do so and try to win the competition”.
Wilfrido Hernández, Top scorer of Dominican Republic: “Despite Cuba being a strong opponent, we did the best we could. Cuba was well organized, mostly in blocking and their K-1 they are tough. We will go on improving, from less to more; we must improve many things”.
Nicolás Vives, Head Coach of Cuba: “The first two sets were good, despite making some changes the guys always get relaxed and overconfident. In the end we pressed a bit and came out with the victory. We are working little by little”.
Alexander Gutiérrez, Head Coach of Dominican Republic: “It was a hard game to start a tournament, it is known that Cuba is one of the favorites in the tournament. We began lazy, committing too many errors. We adjusted in the third set and got a better rhythm, but we came short to close. What’s important is to finish strong despite the negative things”.