Florence, Italy, 5 October 2010 – Cuba ended Spain's hopes of progress on the second day of third-round action as they walked away with a 25-22, 15-25, 25-22, 25-22 victory over their Pool Q rivals in front of 3,500 spectators at the Nelson Mandela Forum on Tuesday evening.
Cuba, ranked eighth in the world, will continue their quest for a place in the FIVB Men's World Championship semifinals when they face Bulgaria on Wednesday, while Spain, with an 0-2 record in the pool, must now turn their attentions to the 9-12 classification phase in Florence.
Robertlandy Simon led the scoring for Cuba with 22 points, including a match-high eight blocks, while Wilfredo Leon and Joandy Leal added 13 points apiece. Iban Perez contributed 20 points for Spain and Jorge Fernandez 11.
FIVB Men's World Championship 2010 official page
After an even opening, Julio Velasco's Spain team led 8-7 at the First Technical Timeout (FTT) but Cuba levelled right away and, with Leal serving well, the Caribbean team had moved 16-14 in front by the Second Technical Timeout (STT). Neither team managed to fully find their rhythm but Cuba were out in front and, with a final Leal lightning ace, they closed the set at 25-22.
Spain bounced back in the second set, with the help of some fantastic spikes by Manuel Sevillano and Julian Garcia-Torres. They were 16-11 ahead at the STT and successfully closed the set 25-15. Cuba tried to establish a rhythm at the start of the third set and with some superb blocks and fine serving, they moved 8-6 in front at the FTT. Spain reduced the deficit to 14-13 but despite an underwhelming display from their teenage starlet Leon, Orlando Samuels Blackwood's Cubans picked up the key points and won the set 25-22.
In the fourth set, both sides showed touches of quality but it was Cuba who claimed the early advantage at 7-4. Spain were struggling to respond to the attacks of the Cubans' middle blockers but Velasco’s team did not give up and managed to tie the scores at 15-15, thanks in no small part to the efforts of Guillermo Hernan. That was as good as it got for the Europeans, however, as Cuba took charge again, completing their overall victory with a 25-22 win.