Coach Tatsuya Ueta: We were beaten by Cuba’s height and power. It was a complete shut-out, the same as the games in the World League. Especially in the first set Cuba served very well. We have learned what it takes to play against a team such as Cuba, Brazil or other teams with such height and power. We still have a long way to the top but I feel we are getting closer. I want to congratulate my players for winning a medal in such a great competition with all the champions of the continents, and I hope this will be the beginning of a new history in Japanese volleyball because because we have not won a medal since 1977. They have done a great job.
Tatsuya Fukuzawa: Today we were overwhelmed by Cuba’s power and made a lot of mistakes. We have to learn how to compete against taller teams with stronger physical potential.
Takaaki Tomimatsu: At the beginning of the first set they scored some big service aces, and that set the atmosphere for the match. The rhythm was on their side. It’s a pity because we could have played better.
Captain Roberlandy Simon: It was a very hard match because Japan had a strong defence and they covered every ball. Their net play was very good, so it made things difficult for us. I think this tournament is a great series of matches and tomorrow we finish against Iran. Of course I think we are going to win, but we must not be over-confident and must play hard because over-confidence can lead to a defeat.
(On his four consecutive service aces in the first set): That is the first time I have ever done that. My previous best was two, and my best for a whole match is five against Poland in this tournament. I enjoy serving and practice hard every day. My favourite is the serve when I can change the pace, whereas the strong serve is quite difficult to execute.
Coach Orlando Samuels: Today our team is improved. They have had more time now in Japan because the time difference is 14 hours compared to Cuba. We had time to practice in the morning so we were well prepared for this game, as well as playing five sets yesterday against Egypt. I do not think Japan played with their full potential because they used up all their power in their previous games.