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La Havana, Cuba, April 2, 2017 - Cuba, the host team suprises, Las Panteritas, the Albiceleste team and will go for the title after a hard and fought tie-breaker at the U 18 Pan Am Cup semi-final match that ended 3-2 (25-20, 25-27, 25-18, 16-25, 11-15). Argentina lost concentration after losing the second set due to non-forced errors and returned to its utmost in the fourth.

This competition, no doubt, it is a good preparation and test for Las Panteritas that will play at home with their supporters the premier FIVB competition, the World Championship just in three months time.

Sensationally Cuba won over Argentina 3-2 (20-25, 27-25, 25-18, 16-25, 15-10) and will meet Colombia for the crown of the VI Pan American U18 Girls’ Cup at the Sports City Coliseum.

The bronze-medal match will played between Argentina and Dominican Republic who in the previous semifinal was defeated by Colombia also in five sets (10-25, 22-25, 25-16, 28-26, 15-11).

In the very close match Argentina-Cuba, Elizabeth Vicet (26) and Aliama Cesé (24) were the solid pillars and match best scorers by the local ones followed by her teammates Ivy Mary Villa and Yamisleidys Viltres who contributed 12 and 11 points respectively.

For their rivals, Sofia Meinardi (17), Martina Delucchi (16) and Candela Salinas (10) scored double figures.

Cubans won the Pool B by defeating Costa Rica (3-0) and Colombia (3-1), and dominating; in quarterfinals, Chile (3-0)

Something similarly, in Pool A, Argentineans did with victories over Chile (3-1) and Puerto Rico (3-0), but they additionally secured direct pass to semifinals as second best pool winner in the preliminary round where the best ones were the Dominicans in Pool A as undefeated.

Juan Carlos Cruz, Cuban coach: “We knew it would have to work hard against Argentina because of their teamwork and practice. On the other side my girls without experience but well prepared physically and mentally to fight for the triumph. At crucial times, the blocking came up and the service was well directed. When the third set finished with disadvantage 1-2, I told them they deserved to win and they could get it. Actually they brought the best out of them.”

Estanislao Vachino, Argentinean coach: “I think both of us are the greatest teams in the tournament. Unfortunately we met in semifinals where it was being 3-0 for us. However, in the second one, Cuba brought the best of them and they did not make errors to close the set finally becoming the fair winner. I hope they could have a great match in the final tomorrow.”

Elizabeth Vicet, Cuban captain: “It was a very close match because none of the teams never gave up. We have already fulfilled a goal: the world ticket. Now we will have to win the gold medal in a match where I will be doing battle. By the way, I requested to wear number 3 in the uniform because of Mireya Luis, a triple Olympic champion, to whom I would like to look alike or be better than her. So I feel with a great responsibility.”

Martina Delucchi, an Argentinean wing spiker: “For this tournament we planned doing our best to be at the podium and we have attained it given we had secured a quota plaza for the WCH as host team. However, today, we let the escape the victory losing concentration and facing opposing players who blocked us a lot with tall athletes.”