Defending champions Cuba and hosts Puerto Rico joined Canada and USA in the semifinals of the 2011 Men’s NORCECA Continental Championship as both teams saw off their respective quarter final rivals.
In Friday’s semifinals will Cuba take on Canada while Puerto Rico meets the United States. The eventual champions will earn a berth for the 2011 FIVB Men’s World Cup in Japan from November 20 to December 4, with the top three teams from that tournament moving onto the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Canada booked their spot in the semifinals thanks to a straight sets win over Puerto Rico, repeating their 2012 FIVB Volleyball World League qualification match. “Two weeks ago we qualified to the World League so we are highly motivated and it was nice to win a match in three sets” Canada captain Frederic Winters said.
The Canadians were joined by North American rivals USA, who beat Cuba 3-1. Mathew Anderson lead USA with 23 points, 22 in attacks and 1 in serve. For Cuba, the top scorer was Wilfredo Leon with 19 points.
“Both teams are competing this summer and the next one to qualify for the Olympics head to head and we both tried to win tonight,” USA captain Clayton Stanley said. “It is a lesson for us to know how to close a set as Cubans do.”
Cuba defeated Mexico in straight sets while Puerto Rico saw off Trinidad and Tobago also in straight sets.