F I V B  FEDERATION INTERNATIONALE DE VOLLEYBALL
PRESS RELEASE 12.05.2003

Back

FIVB $15 Million World League 2002: Italy, Russia, Spain and France ahead on points after Round 5

Europe's elite men's Volleyball teams - Italy, Russia, Spain and France - have all surfaced to mount a challenge to FIVB World League titleholders Brazil as Intercontinental Round Five draws to a close this weekend. Italy and Russia lead their pools with 19 points, France and Spain have 18 and Brazil, Pool A leader, has 17 points from seven matches, they exhibited their vulnerability with weekend when they were twice thrashed this weekend by upstart Poland in front of more than 11,000 euphoric fans in Katowice. "We did not make any camouflage here in Katowice, at the moment this is the best we can play, but I still hope we will improve to reach our top disposition for the World League Finals and World Championships," Brazil's head coach Bernardo Rezende reflected. But it is in the other pools that action is fast and furious. Pool B is a battle of attrition between Italy, who has claimed the title more than any other nation in the League's 13-year history, and Spain. The Italians crushed Spain 3-0 on Friday for their second only defeat in the series, but had to struggle for their 3-1 return match on Saturday. Next weekend the Spaniards must travel to Italy to face the giant again in their away tie, knowing they are separated by just one point. Russia twice beat Germany this weekend to continue to lead Pool C while Netherlands delivered 3-1 and 3-2 messages to the youthful Cuban side, giving ace Dutch player Richard Schuil the chance to surge ahead on the Best Scorer's table, which he now leads with 197 from Cuban star Tomās Aldazabal, who has 179 for second place. Aldazabal was rested for part of the match in the Cuban capital. The Dutch team meets Russia at home next weekend, but do so confident of their ticket to the finals in Brazil the following week.


Back