Volleyball: Olympic Pass Committed

Volleyball: Olympic Pass Committed
Fecha de publicación: 
14 September 2023
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The men's volleyball team is the only Cuban team with real chances to qualify for Paris 2024 Olympic Games, but this weekend had a very dangerous setback.

The lost against Canada in the Norceca tournament jeopardizes the pass to Paris 2024 for the world ranking (we are currently on position 12), because the Canadians are precisely our direct rivals to obtain the pass in this geographical area.

There were five sets, all of them fought except the fourth one where Canadians won, but once again our team failed to tie up the match in the crucial moments.

Surprisingly this time rivals made more mistakes, but they were better in other aspects of the game.

It can’t be said that Jesús Cruz's debut as head coach of Cuba is bad, much less: the two defeats were in five sets against the two best teams of the event, which also brought their main figures, but we lack that tiny step to return to the elite.

By the way, the host United States swept its opponents, including Canada in its vie for the gold medal , and Cuba won two sets and was able to take it to victory because they were ahead by up to four points in the tie-break.

Knowing how to close sets is essential to play at the highest level, where quality is equal and nothing can be easily given to the opponent.

Right now it’s first task of the new technical direction, which was much closer with the players than the previous one, and that’s also important.

Let’s remember that we also attended the event with important absences in the central position, and that made us give in to higher-ranking opponents in the work on the net, which is one of our strong points.

It was hopeful to finally see Marlon Yant putting together good performances and leaving behind the instability that accompanied him with the national team, different from his performance in Italy.

Jesús Herrera continues to be our offensive star, and Miguel Ángel López and Javier Concepción also had good performances, but we must continue working to eliminate those details that keep us from our goals.

Although the main objective was to fight for the title, Cubans added some points for the ranking and, most importantly, they had some preparation for the pre-Olympic tournament in Brazil later this month, where there will be seven challenges against top-level rivals.

From September 30 to October 8, the competition will have teams like Brazil (fourth in the world ranking), Italy (2), Iran (10), Ukraine (16), Germany (17), Czech Republic (22) and Qatar (25).

In addition, it will be played in Group B in Japan, with eight other teams, and a C Group in China, also with eight members, where Canada is included. Why insist on Canada? Because to get to Paris you have to discuss the final of this pre-Olympic or be among the best five in the world ranking, discounting those who obtain their places. That's why it was so important to beat them in this Norceca, and we have to pray that they don't have a good pre-Olympic in China.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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