Cuba qualify to FIVB Boys' U19 World Championship
Tijuana, Mexico, July 6, 2012 – Cuba booked a ticket to the 2013 FIVB Boys' U19 World Championship by reaching the gold medal match of the NORCECA U19 Continental Championship on Friday.
Defending champions Cuba will play hosts Mexico for the title on Saturday while USA will play Puerto Rico for the bronze and a second ticket to the world championship. Mexico is already qualified as hosts of the competition to take place in Tijuana and Mexicali.
Cuba reached the finals by defeating the United States 3-1 (22-25, 25-16, 26-24, 25-19) while Mexico advanced following a victory over Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-11, 25-14, 25-16) in Friday’s semifinals.
Osmany Santiago Uriarte led the Cuban squad with a tournament-high 36 points, while Inover Romero finished with 20. For USA Lee Smith and Fey Kupono tallied 15 and 14 respectively.
“This was a final in advance,” Cuba’s Coach Rodolfo Sánchez said. “We played against a very tall and talented team with a great technique. I am happy with the kids for this victory and hope USA also can qualify to the World Championship.”
Mexico’s Enrique Ugalde finished as the leading scorer with 12 points, while Mauricio López and Geiser Mejía had 11 and 10 respectively. Puerto Rico’s Juan Ruiz Goyco scored 6 and Christian Pellicier 5.
Nicaragua downed French Saint Martin 3-0 (25-10, 25-19, 25-14) in a match for the 5-8 positions. Nicaragua’s captain Douglas Alexander Chavez tallied 10 points and Ivan Mejia finished with 8. Kareem Brooks was the top scorer for French Saint Martin with 7 points.
Costa Rica defeated US Virgin Islands in straight sets (25-17, 25-20 y 26-24) to compete with Nicaragua for fifth place. Asseah Thomas finished with 17 points for US Virgin Islands while Luis Diego Abarca registered 13 for Costa Rica.