Tokyo, Japan, 23
November, 2001 -
NORCECA champion Cuba all but guaranteed its first Grand
Champions Cup title and the US$400,000 winners cheque
after defeating South American champions Brazil 3-2
(25-21, 22-25, 20-25, 25-20,15-11) in the
top-of-the-table clash on Day 3 of the men’s
volleyball tournament at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Gym
It was Cuba’s third straight victory, and Brazil’s
In Friday’s second match, Olympic and European
champion Yugoslavia had a scare in its match against the
spirited and young Argentinean team. It dropped the
first set before fighting back to take the second, then
dominated the third and fourth in quick succession to
take the match 22:25, 25:21 25:11, 25:18.
In the local derby between host Japan and Asian
champion Korea, the sold-out stadium did all but join
their idols on the court. The calls of ‘Nippon, Nippon’
started well before the start, and then every time the
Japanese men scored the roof almost lifted from the
screaming and rousing applause. But even the additional
10,000 members could not help, the Koreans overpowering
Japan 25:21, 25:21, 27:25.
The much-awaited Cuba v Brazil match could have gone
either way. Both teams traded leads throughout the
match, but in the end it was the power serving of Cuba’s
B. Leonel Marshal and Angel Dennis that won them the
“We couldn’t side out when they served so hard,”
said Brazil’s coach Bernardo Rezende after the match.
“It was a well balanced game – hard ones always
are. We can’t always win. We have won all year
(against Cuba) and this time it was Cuba’s time. They
deserved it,” Rezende added.
“What is important to me is not this loss, but how
the team can come back from such a loss against
Yugoslavia tomorrow. It is a new team, we had four new
players on the court today, and how they come back is
very important. 3-2 defeats are the worst kind of
defeats, particularly when you are tied – physically
and emotionally,” he said.
Cuba’s captain Ihosvany Hernandez was happy but
guarded with the win. “I am happy with the win today,
but we should not rest on it. We will try harder in the
last two matches to get a good result,” he said
Gilberto Herrara, Cuba’s coach said: “We had some
shaky moments but we were able to use player
substitutions effectively to win this game. We were more
concentrated than the Brazilian players today and we
were at our best condition.”.
Cuba now lead the single round robin tournament on 6
points (3-0 win/loss), followed by Brazil and Yugoslavia
(2-1 win/loss), Korea and Japan (1-2 win/loss).
Argentina is currently winless on 3 points.
Competition continues Saturday when Cuba takes on
Japan, Korea meets Argentina and Brazil faces
Yugoslavia, a match that will probably determine second
and third spot.
Set scores will be updated live at www.fivb.org
For further information on the 2001 World Grand
Champions Cup, including P2 forms, historical data,
match descriptives and professional high resolution
royalty free photographs, go to www.fivb.org, or contact
Anthony Edgar, FIVB Press Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org