The NORCECA Women's Olympic Qualifier Tournament in Santo Domingo is ready to start with five teams from the region battling before the Christmas holidays for the most precious gift: A trip to Athens.
Squads from Cuba, Canada, Mexico, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic will play in a round robin format (December 15-21), with the top four teams qualifying for the semifinal round. The team with best record will face the fourth place side and the second team will meet the third place side to decide the protagonists of the gold medal match and the chance for the Olympics.
One team from the NORCECA region, USA, is already qualified for the Olympics, gaining the berth after finishing third during the World Cup played in Japan in October.
“Everything is prepared to have another tournament in the Dominican Republic and we are anticipating a great event with these teams from our region bringing their best players aiming for the Olympic goal,” said Cristobal Marte, president of NORCECA.
Cuba and Dominican Republic, who also entered in the World Cup, are considered the favorites of the event, with Canada rated as a longshot. All the matches will be on national TV and the teams will be lodged in a hotel located in Boca Chica beach, about 20 miles from Santo Domingo.
The schedule for the tournament is as follows:
15 Cuba vs Canada, Dominicana vs Mexico
16 Puerto Rico vs Cuba, Dominicana vs Canada
17 Mexico vs Canada, Dominicana vs Puerto Rico
18 Mexico vs Puerto Rico, Dominicana vs Cuba
19 Puerto Rico vs Canada, Mexico vs Cuba
20 2nd vs 3rd, 1st vs 4th.
21 Match between losers for third place, and match for first place and qualification to Athens.
All matches starting at 18:00 and 20:00