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Teams set to battle for ticket to Brno in Havana

From left-right: Coaches Jauregui (Chile), Cruz (Puerto Rico), Vargas (Costa Rica), Vachino (México), Málaga (Perú), Fernández (Cuba), Marasciulo (Colombia) and Pacheco (Dominican Republic)

Havana, Cuba, March 18, 2013 – The U20 Women’s Pan American Cup is set to begin at Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum on Monday with four teams battling for one last vacancy for FIVB World Championship in this age-group while four others continue with their preparations for the event to take place in the Czech Republic in June.

Defending champions Peru, as well as the Dominican Republic, Mexico and Colombia, have already qualified for the World Championship and will compete in Pool A. The non-qualified teams – Chile, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico – and hosts Cuba will battle for the ticket in Pool B.

The coaches of the teams expressed their opinions and commented about their goals following the General Technical Meeting held on Sunday night.

Hugo Jauregui (Chile): "Cuba is the favourite in Pool B, although all the rivals are powerful. But Puerto Rico has not participated lately in  any international events. These cups were an aspiration come true and now there is the added value of offering a spot to the world event in a clash between north and south."

Eladio Vargas (Costa Rica): "I have been working with the team for only six weeks. We started preparing for the U-20 Central American Championship as well as for qualification to the Pan American Cup while at the same time working to ensure the rejuvenation of our senior national team, something we didn’t take care of in my country.”

Tomás Fernández (Cuba): "The goal is to qualify and then to raise the technical and tactical level to reach the top eight in the world. While it may seem like a big goal, I am counting on the core of the senior team, who are very young but have a lot of desire to work towards restoring our rich history of volleyball, especially of the Morenas del Caribe.”

Carlos Javier Cruz (Puerto Rico): "This is my international debut and I would like to achieve our goal of qualifying. I think my team is diverse, well covered in all positions and we will try to win the games in three sets because it is critical to achieve a greater number of points.”

The Brazilian Mauro Marasciulo (Colombia): "I hope we can be the surprise team of the World Championship and this tournament will help to know what to do and give continuity to our work. We have spectacular conditions at the High Performance Centre in Bogota, since the Volleyball Federation is well supported by the Olympic Committee of Colombia."

The Brazilian Wagner Pacheco (Dominican Republic): "We came to take advantage of all the games. This is an interesting preparation tournament, we are in a good group and we have all qualified for the World Championship where we hope to  be in the top eight and then battle for the medals."

The Argentinean Estasnislao Vachino (Mexico): "I think we are doing well in the work towards the World Championship, but we need more international exposure and that is why we are here. We have improved the height of the players, but the difference between the national level and the world is still large."

Natalia Malaga (Peru): "Even though we have qualified for the U18 and U20 World Championships, we will take this opportunity to strengthen our girls and give especially our youngest players more international exposure. It will be, without any doubt, of benefit for both competitions as we want to improve the sixth place that we attained  at the Junior World Championships in Lima in 2011.”


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