Nagoya, Japan, 21
November, 2001 - Cuba is odds-on favourite for the World
Grand Champions Cup title after defeating Korea 25-17,
25-17, 25-22 in Nagoya, Japan on Wednesday.
demolition of the Asian champion is Cuba's second
straight-set victory in as many days, after stunning
Olympic gold medallist Yugoslavia 3-0 on Tuesday, giving
the Caribbean nation a perfect record and placing them
on the top of the standings leading into Day 3 of the
five day competition.
South American champion
Brazil is equal to Cuba on four points after it
overpowered its South American neighbour Argentina
25:16, 25:15, 25:07, but as it dropped one set against
Korea in Tuesday's opener, is behind Cuba in sets
for-and-against in the single round robin tournament.
Yugoslavia and Japan
are equal on three points with a 1-1 win-loss after the
European champion easily accounted for the hosts in
another 3 set match 25:15, 25:18, 25:17. Argentina and
Korea are on the bottom of the six-team standings on 2
points, Argentina has won only two and Korea one set in
their two matches to date.
Led by B. Leonel
Marshall, Dennis Angel and centre Pavel Pimienta, Cuba
took control from the start to the end in its match
against Korea. They claimed the first set in style
25-17, but let Korea stay close in the second set until
the first technical timeout at 8-7.
The rest of the set and
match was just a showtime for the Caribbeans, as the
Koreans had nothing to answer the Cuban's block and
Brazil was also in
devastating form with 201cm outside hitter Dante Amaral
having a field day against the young Argentineans. His
game high 12 successes with only one error was twice
that of the second attacker Andre Nascimento.
After a rest day
Thursday, Cuba and Brazil meet on Friday in a match that
will possibly determine the eventual tournament winner
in Tokyo's Metropolitan Gym.
But even with the form
the Cuban team is showing, Brazil's coach Bernardo
Rezende seems confident that they have the Cuban's
"We have met five
times this year, and won four of them. All the games are
tight, with three going to five sets. We need to serve
consistently, and block their high balls. They will fire
rockets at us, that is the Cuban way, but we just need
to control their attack and hopefully force mistakes
from their side. We need to control their attack. We
cannot let them control the game," Rezende said.