August 10, 2003 - Cuba will face USA and Venezuela will meet Brazil in the semifinals of the Pan American Volleyball men’s tournament following their respective victories over the Dominican Republic and Canada.
Cuba beat the Dominican Republic 3-1 ( 25-18, 21-25, 25-18, 25-11) while Venezuela scored a straight sets victoy over Canada.
“We were prepared for a much tougher match,” said Eliseo Ramos, the Cuban coach. “I think the way we won the first set calmed down the crowd.”
“Now we are going against United States and our goal is to win that match and play for the gold medal,” he added.
“My team needs titles,” said Ramos. “It is a young squad that is coming off a tough World League campaign and need to accomplish some motivation goals.”
Once again Cuba´s attack relied on Tomas Aldazabal who produced 21 points with 17 kills out of 25 attempts. Yasser Portuondo had 12 and Ariel Gil scored 10.
“We had a disaster in our reception and you can’t do that against a team like Cuba,” said Miguel Beato, the Dominican coach. “ But in overall terms I am pleased with our performance during the tournament.”
“My boys are very young and need the exposure of international competition,” he added. “Sometimes we can play in a high notel, like the way we did against Venezuela, but the team lacks consistency.”
Elvis Contreras had 16 points and Robin Batista contributed with 11 for the Dominican Republic who now will meet Canada in the match for fifth place.
Venezuela moved to their encounter with Brazil beating the Canadians 26-24, 25-16, 29-27 with a brilliant sipaly of power from Harry Gomez.
Captain Gomez had an excellent game scoring 22 points on 20 spikes and Ronald Gomez contributed with 10.
Sebastien Ruette led Canada with 12 points and Steve Brinkman and Fred Winters had 11 apiece.
In an earlier match for seventh place, Puerto Rico beat Barbados 3-0 (29-27, 25-20, 25-18).
Victor Bird and Rene Estevez had 16 and 14 points respectively for Puerto Rico and Ewin Oxlby led Barbados with 15.