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Photo: Norceca

Bronze medal for Cuba at continental U21 volleyball (m)

Cuba defeated Puerto Rico 3-1 to win the bronze medal at the North, Central America and Caribbean (Norceca) U21 Men’s Continental Volleyball Championship in Nogales, Mexico, where the undefeated USA won the title.

With this result, the Cubans were unable to retain the crown won in the previous edition, but won their eighth medal in this type of competition, as they arrived in the Mexican city with six gold medals and one silver, a haul that keeps them at the top of the all-time medal table.

According to the website www.norceca.net, the disciples of coach Lian Sem Estrada had a bad start, losing the first set, 13-25, but then swept, 25-20, 25-18 and 25-22, after an hour and 46 minutes of action on the court, with Daniel Guillermo Martinez standing out.

Estrada’s pupil was the top scorer of the match with 30 points, 23 in attack, four in blocking and three in service, supported by Kelly Bryan Oviedo (16/15-0-1), while for the Puerto Ricans Ramon Andres Rosado (18/15-3-0) and Lorenzo Antonio Rivera (17/16-0-1) were the only four players in double figures.

The largest of the Antilles had better results in attack (55-46) and service (6-5), but were surpassed in blocking (9-13) and goals given to the rivals by their own errors (18-21), according to the official collective statistics of the challenge.

That was Cuba’s second win over Puerto Rico in the tournament, as they beat them 3-0 (25-23, 25-19 and 25-23) in the group phase, to finish in second place in the key with two wins and one loss, behind the Canadians (3-0).

The United States beat Canada 3-0 (25-18, 25-21, 27-25) in Sunday’s final in a duel of undefeated teams to win their fourth gold and fifth silver, in that order.

The fifth and seventh places went to Guatemala and Mexico, who beat Nicaragua 3-0 (25-22, 28-26 and 25-22) and Suriname 3-0 (25-14, 25-20 and 25-18), respectively.

Cuba (6-1-1) confirmed their place at the top of the all-time medal table ahead of USA (4-2-5), Canada (2-5-3), Puerto Rico (0-2-2), Dominican Republic (0-1-0) and Mexico (0-0-1), respectively.

This Norceca U21 Volleyball Men’s Continental Championship is part of the qualification system for the 2025 World Championship of the category.

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