Cuba blocks Puerto Rico’s semifinal chances

WINNIPEG, Canada, September 5, 2019 - Despite a tight and exciting third set, Cuba put an end to Puerto Rico's goal of advancing the semifinals today at the 2019 Men's NORCECA Continental Championship at the University of Winnipeg in Manitoba, Canada.

Friday 06 de September del 2019 05:17 AM

The score was 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 28-26).

Miguel Lopez, Roamy Alonso and middle Robertlandy Simon reached double digits for Cuba with 15, 14 and 13 points respectively. Cuba's blocking (12-4) was far superior, as well as their serving (8-3).

Captain Maurice Torres led all scorers with 17 points for the losing side.

Cuba faces Canada at 6 pm local in Friday's semifinal.   Puerto Rico will still have a chance to qualify for the Olympic qualifier, if they win their final match for classification.

Cuba has already locked up a spot in the NORCECA Olympic Qualifier next January, but still has the goal to win this tournament. The U.S. is already qualified for the 2020 Olympics.

Cuba head coach Yosvany Muñoz Perez: "I'm very happy because my team performed at a high level against Puerto Rico. Congratulations to Puerto Rico for a good match.  Our serving and blocking was working very well today, it made the difference for our team."

Puerto Rico, head coach, Oswald Antonetti: "We played better at the end, but it was a matter that we couldn't close sets. We are disappointed but it's not over yet and we'll have to come to play tomorrow."

Puerto Rico, captain, Maurice Torres: "We made a lot of stupid errors - that's all I can say. It's the same problem we've had this entire tournament; when it counts, we make too many errors. We have one more chance tomorrow and if we lose tomorrow, we lose our chance of ever going to the Olympics in 2020. We're going to regroup and keep going."



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