Press release

Four teams still with chances in Men’s Junior Championship


The Argentinean libero Tomas Ruiz made spectacular plays against Brazil on Saturday night in Rio de Janeiro


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 7, 2011 – The final day of the second round in the 2011 FIVB Men’s Junior World Championship finds two teams –Russia and United States- in possession of the first two spots in the final-four stage of the tournament and a vast number of combinations to define the other two contenders emerging from Pool F.

The four teams of Pool F still have the chance of competing for a podium place with Argentina leading the standings with 6 points but not secured of a berth to battle for the medals. While Brazil and Serbia need a direct victory in today’s matches, India’s hopes are clinging of the possibilities of a three-way tie in second place behind Argentina.

Meanwhile, the second round play at Caio Martins gymnasium in Niteroi will conclude on Sunday with only Belgium assured a spot in the semifinals. Canada, Tunisia, Japan, Germany and Bulgaria all still have a shot of advancing to the semifinals and the chance to play for ninth place.

Pool E –Round 2- Places 1-8

Spain v Iran

Spain and Iran will play the opening match of Sunday’s schedule in a contest for the third place of the group at Maracanazinho Gymnasium. The Spaniards missed a chance to be in the final round as they lost a five-setter against USA in a seesaw battle where 225 points where disputed. Andres Villena (22) led four Spain’s players in double figures coming off the bench in the match that could have gone either way. Meanwhile, Iran is coming from a loss to the powerful Russian side in three sets.

Russia v. United States

Russia and United States are the only two teams secured of their place in the medal round phase and will be clashing for the top place of the pool. Overall, the Russia team has a 5-0 mark and 15-1 in sets to 4-1 and 13-7 by the American side. In team stats, the Russians lead the spike, block and reception categories. Shchadilov and Kolesnik form a dangerous offensive duo and Filippov and Kovalev are among the best at the net’s defense. Sander is a key as the top gun for the American side.

Pool F –Round 2- Places 1-8

Argentina v Serbia

Argentina leads the pool with 6 points and needs one more point to pocket the ticket to the final round as winners of the group.  After losing the first set against Brazil last night, the Argentineans came back strong to achieve their second win and the good news for them is that Ivan Castellani is hot with 20 and 18 points in his last two outings. Serbians Atanasijevic and Kovacevik were factors in the 3-1 victory over India registering 29 and 20 respectively and their team needs one more powerful performance in order to take the extra step.

India v Brazil

The two-time defending champions Brazil have had a tournament of ups and downs and hopefully, for the home crowd, they can be on the top of their game against the dangerous India side. Brazilian Lucarelli have piled up 37 points in the two matches of the second round while India’s Dhanabalan Selvapaprabhu totaled 30 in the 3-1 loss to Serbia on Saturday.  Brazil needs to win 3-1 or 3-0 win while India’s chances depend of a 3-0 victory combined with a 3-0 or 3-1 win of Argentina over Serbia.

Pool G –Round 2- Places 9-16

Tunisia v Canada

Tunisia and Canada will play Sunday’s first match at 10 a.m. local time at Caio Martins gymnasium. Canada leads Pool G with a 2-0 record and five points while Tunisia is 1-1 with two points. A victory would give Canada the pool victory outright. A loss could tie the North Americans with Tunisia, and possibly also with Japan, which also has a 1-1 record.  Canada is coming off a tough five-set victory over Egypt while Tunisia suffered a 3-0 loss to Japan on Saturday. 

Egypt v Japan

Egypt and Japan will finish the day of matches and the second round of pool play in Niteroi at 6:30 p.m. local time. With a 1-1 record and three points, Japan is hoping to earn a spot in the semifinals while Egypt at 0-2 is still looking for its first Pool G victory. After suffering a loss to Canada in its opening Pool G match, Japan was heartened by its 3-0 victory over Tunisia on Saturday while Egypt was not happy about its 3-2 loss to Canada. “We hope to win again against Japan,” Egypt coach Mohamed Ellakany said.

Pool H –Round 2- Places 9-16

Puerto Rico v Belgium

Puerto Rico and Belgium will open play in Pool H at 12:30 p.m. local time. Belgium has already secured a place in the semifinals as it leads Pool H with a 2-0 record and five points while Puerto Rico is still searching for its first World Championship victory.  Belgium was tested in its five-set win over Germany on Saturday. “I hope we can play like this again tomorrow,” Belgium captain Sam Deroo said. “We want to win ninth place, which is the best possible now.” Puerto Rico will try to recover from a 3-0 loss to Bulgaria.

Germany v Bulgaria

Germany and Bulgaria will round out play in Pool H at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Each has a 1-1 record but Bulgaria has four points while Germany has three.  Germany has four points while Bulgaria has three. Both would like to join Belgium in the semifinals for a chance to play for ninth place. “We are only focused on Germany now,” Bulgaria captain Borislav Georgiev said following his team’s 3-0 victory over Puerto Rico on Saturday, its first win of the World Championship. Germany had a tougher time with a 3-2 loss to Belgium.


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