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2006 Men’s World Championship - Portugal

Excellent warm-up for Portugal

May 12, 2005 - The Portuguese national men’s side, coached by Orlando Samuels, won their second game out of three in their five-match series with the Russian club team of VC Neftyanik in Vila do Conde on Thursday.

After winning the first match on Tuesday 3-1 and then losing the second 3-2 on Wednesday, Portugal fought back to win the third match 3-0 (25-21, 25-18, 28-26).
Pic: Portugal are starting to develop better combinations says Samuels
With Carlos Teixeira particularly playing well, Portugal managed to contain the powerful serves from the likes of Roman Danilov and capitan Vitaly Zhurov and with the arrival of Eurico Peixoto, the Portuguese selection looked a better unit on court, improving significantly in blocking and reception, areas in that Portugal has been traditionally weak.

Samuels said he was “satisfied with the performance” of his squad, who he said are “very motivated” for the opening phase of the 2006 World Championship, which starts on May 20.

“There is still a lot of work to do, especially in terms of gaining some cohesion and understanding amongst one another,” he said. “The block still is a weak point, but is it improving game by game and there is also some quality lacking in our reception, we still do not have a dependable reception. But I’m satisfied with the way we played against this Russian side, who have a very high block and a very strong service, that put us under pressure. I think that there will be adversaries of this calibre in the World Championship tournament.”

The series, which finishes with two matches (on Friday and Saturday), is acting as a warm up for the Portuguese side for the 2006 Men’s World Championship second round tournament, which will be held from May 20-22 in Vila do Conde. Portugal will also have their eye on the 2005 World League, which starts on May 27.

Portugal will face Latvia, Austria and Estonia in the World Championship tournament, with the winner advancing to the third round where Serbia and Montenegro and Greece and another second round side will be waiting. The runner’s up with also advance but to another group, where Russia, Poland and another unconfirmed second round team await.