Men’s Pan Am Cup opens with colourful ceremony
Tijuana, Mexico, August 12, 2014 - The IX Men’s Pan American Volleyball Cup, a qualifier to the 2015 FIVB World League, kicked off on Monday with a colourful ceremony highlighted by Mexican traditional music and dancing followed by three exciting matches at Baja California High Performance Center.
Venezuela, Cuba and hosts Mexico started off the right foot, winning their opening matches in front of a good crowd at the multi-sport complex.
Venezuela scored a surprising victory over Canada in four sets and Cuba prevailed in a thrilling five-setter against Puerto Rico. The home side were victorious against Colombia in straight sets.
Nine teams split into three pools are taking part in the event that offers five spots to the different groups of the premier annual men’s volleyball competition organized by the FIVB.
Hosts Mexico, Colombia and the United States compete in Pool A; Cuba, Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic play in Pool B; Canada, Venezuela and Argentina are the teams in Pool C.
“This is the most important annual event in the whole American continent and we are very pleased to be back here with all the people of Tijuana,” said Cristobal Marte Hoffiz, FIVB First Executive Vice-President and NORCECA President, during the opening ceremony. “The event continues to grow and the organisation is excellent.”
Jesus Perales, President of the Mexican Volleyball Federation, and Saul Castro Verdugo, President of the Organizing Committee, were also in attendance.
Mexico 3-0 Colombia
Mexico defeated Colombia 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 26-24) in Pool A. Daniel Vargas led a balanced Mexican offense with 13 points while Carlos Guerra, Samuel Cordova and Tomas Aguilera each contributed 10 points. Colombia’s Alexander Moreno topped the losers with 12 points and Andres Piza added nine.
Cuba 3-2 Puerto Rico
Cuba overcame Puerto Rico in an epic five-set battle 3-2 (18-25, 26-24, 25-20, 21-25, 15-12) in Pool B. Rolando Cepeda and Javier Jimenez spearheaded the winning attack with 22 and 17 points respectively. Puerto Rico’s Maurice Torres had a match-high 24 points, including two aces, and Hector Soto finished with eleven tallies.
Venezuela 3-1 Canada
Venezuela topped Canada 3-1 (25-20, 25-17, 21-25, 30-28) in Pool C. Kervin Pinerua was the best scorer for the winners with 28 points, followed by Freddy Cedeno and Jesus Chourio with 15 and 12 points respectively. Canada’s Jason De Rocco and Dallas Soonias each had 17 points for the defeated side.