PUNE, India (July 31, 2009) – Argentina captured a 25-20, 31-29, 25-16 victory over Cuba on Friday afternoon on the opening day of the 2009 FIVB Men’s Junior World Championship (U-21) being held July 31-Aug. 9 at the Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune, India.
Cristian Poglajen led Argentina with 15 points and a team-high four blocks. Pablo Hruby chipped in 14 additional points, while teammate Facundo Conte scored 13 points.
Rolando Cepeda Abreu led all scorers with 20 points for Cuba, while Wilfredo Leon Venero contributed 11 points.
Argentina held a sizeable block advantage in the match with 13 blocks compared to the Cubans’ seven. Cuba committed 23 errors in the three set match. Both teams scored 41 kills.
The match was part of the three-day, four-team round-robin first round Pool C also involving France and Greece. Argentina challenges France on Saturday at 12:00 local time on the middle day of the opening round, while Cuba faces Greece at 16:00 local time. The overall tournament consists of 16 teams with four pools of four teams in the first round.
The top two teams from each first-round pool advances to second round 1-8 classification matches to be held Aug. 4-6. The bottom two teams in each first-round pool falls to the second round 9-16 classification matches.
Argentina opened the first set with a 25-20 victory as Poglajen chipped in six points and Pablo Hruby added five points. Cuba stayed close behind the attacks of Rolando Cepeda Abreu, who netted six kills and a block. Argentina also benefited from two aces in the set.
After Argentina jumped to a 6-3 lead in the second set, the match stayed close. Cuba led 29-28 late in the set, but Argentina bounced back to win 31-29. Conte led Argentina in the set with eight points and the Argentineans took advantage of seven Cuba errors. Leon Venero contributed seven points for Cuba in the set.
Argentina coasted to a 26-15 victory in the third set after putting together an 8-4 run to start the period. Argentina increased its advantage to 15-9 and went on to the 25-16 victory.