LAUSANNE, Switzerland, June 21, 2003 - World League debutants the Czech Republic sealed their World League Finals spot with their eighth successive victory in Pool D, a 3-1 (21-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-13) come from behind victory over Greece in Ostrava on Saturday in Week 6 of the $15million World League Intercontinental Rounds.
It is a remarkable result for a side, which had a short preparation period ahead of the premier international tournament in men's Volleyball, losing their first three opening games before starting a winning streak, which has seen them undefeated since May 25.
The Czech Republic, who now sits on 19 points, leads Pool D by two points with one game to play with France, who beat Japan on Saturday by 3-0 (28-26, 28-26, 25-17), and Greece both on 17 points. They join World League finals hosts Spain and Pool A winners Russia, who was defeated for the first time on Saturday after a 3-1 (25-22, 31-33, 25-21, 25-17) to Poland on Saturday, in the Finals.
"I am very happy for this victory," said the Czech Republic coach Pavel Rerábek. "It was out eighth victory in a row and it will see that the team finds a good balance in their game heading in to the Finals. It is very good fact that our squad is so strong every player can be substituted."
Meanwhile Pool B remains undecided after Italy beat Brazil 3-0 in Brasilia on Saturday to take the lead with 17 points ahead of their hosts on Saturday, who have 16 points. The other two teams in the pool, Portugal and Germany, fought out a 3-2 (22-25, 25-17, 25-23, 23-25, 15-11) result to Portugal in the battle for last place.
In Pool C the Netherlands (13 points) failed to pick up any ground on the leaders Bulgaria and Serbia and Montenegro (both have 15 points) after providing Cuba with its first home win of the competition in a 3-0 (25-18, 25-23, 25-19) cakewalk.
Week 6 of the Intercontinental Rounds continues with seven games on Sunday starting with Cuba's second game against the Netherlands starting at 00:40GMT.
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