PRESS RELEASE 08.08.2003


Brazil's easy victory over Cuba wraps up another day

August 08, 2003 - Brazil took another step towards the gold medal in the men’s Volleyball competition at the Pan American Games crushing Cuba 3-0 with a display of talent, ability and experience.

The World Champions cruised through the first two sets dominating the Cubans 25-14, 25-17 before the defending champions presented some resistance in the final set but couldn’t overcome the big hurdle of beating the champions of the World League who prevailed 29-27.

“Brazil was very tough today and my players looked tense for the first two sets,” said Eliseo Ramos, the Cuban coach. “In the third set they were more relaxed and played better Our goal now is to come back and play Brazil again for the gold but first we have to beat a couple of teams.”

Andre Nascimento was the leading scorer for the Brazilians with 13 points and Tomas Aldazabal was tops among the Cubans with 11.

In another men’s match Canada booked a place in the quarterfinals with a clear straight sets victory over Puerto Rico by score of 25-17, 27-25, 25-21.

Fred Winters, who is only 20 years-old, finished the game with 14 points.

“I am very proud of Fred Winters an the way he has managed himself being so young,” said Stelio De Rocco, de Brazilian coach. “Also our setter Scott Koskie executed well.”

In womens’s action, Cuba overcame a one set deficit and defeated the Dominican Republic 3-1 making into the semifinals.

Relying on their powerful jumping service, the Cubans cruised through the match after losing the first set 23-25. They won the next three sets 25-20, 25-20, 25-21 before a capacity crowd of around 4,500 fans cheering loudly in favor of the locals.

Martha Sanchez had a splendid night scoring 19 spikes in 26 attempts and was followed by Nancy Carrillo with 16 points. Annerys Vargas had 15 and Nurys Arias 14 for the Dominicans.

“I have a young team and the girls had some problem of concentration in the first set,” said Luis Felipe Calderon, the Cuban coach. “But during the match they could overcome that difficulty.”

Dominican Republic next face Puerto Rico on Sunday, a team they lost to in the World Championship last year in Germany.

“Our goal is to face Cuba again in the match for the gold medal,” said Jorge Garbey, the Dominican coach. “We basically had trouble with our blocking and made mistakes on easy plays. But we will be back.”

The final positions in Pool B: Cuba 3-0, Dominican Republic 2-1, Venezuela 1-2, Mexico 0-4.

In an earlier match, Venezuela advanced to the quarterfinals with victory over Mexico after being one set down 21-25, 25-19, 25-22, 25-18.

“The team went into the court very motivated,” said coach Irina Bespalova. “They knew there was no tomorrow and was a matter of staying in the tournament or being out. I am very happy with this result and all my twelve players deserve the credit”, she added.

The final positions in Pool B: Cuba 3-0, Dominican Republic 2-1, Venezuela 1-2, Mexico 0-4.