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FIVB Men's Volleyball Championship Play-by-Play

The 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship gold-medal match is underway as Brazil star and captain Giba leads his team in the formal handshakes with Cuba.

Rome, Italy, October 10, 2010 - Rome, Italy, October 10, 2010 - The 2010 FIVB Men's Volleyball Championship final day has already witnessed Serbia defeating local favorite Italy in the bronze-medal match. Now two-time defending champion Brazil will challenge Cuba for the gold medal. Below is timeline capturing key moments of the final day, both on and around the court.

22:46: A show is being put on for the fans with a dance troupe showcasing the flags of all the countries represented in the 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship.

22:44: Approximately 300 journalists accredited for the final match.

22:44: With the match over, the court is being tranformed into an awarding ceremony stage. The awarding ceremony to begin in about 10 minutes.

22:40: Vissotto, with the final point of the match giving Brazil their third straight World Championship gold medal, was the leading scorer in the title match with 19 points. Leon turned in 15 points for Cuba. No other player on either team reached double-figure scoring with balance on each ledger.

22:39: Hugs all around on the Brazilian side of the court. Somber looks and reserved emotions on the opposite Cuban side. Regardless, a great World Championship for both teams.

22:38: As in Brazilian tradition, they do the slide three times in celebration of winning the gold medal.

22:36: Bruno climbs the referee stand in celebration, pointing to the Brazil fans.

22:35: After a third match point saved, Vissotto left no doubt on the final with a torpedo of an attack angled to the middle of open area in the back.

22:34: Leal blocks a Brazil attack to save a second match point, slicing the margin to 24-21.

22:33: Rodrigao and Murilo score consecutive blocks to give Brazil match points at 24-19 squelching the Cuba comeback.

22:32: Here comes Cuba. They have cut the gap to two points at 21-19.

22:30: Speaking of Marlon, the 2010 FIVB World Championship has been harsh on Brazil in terms of health. Head coach has been walking on crutches and wearing a boot since the start of the event after a training accident affecting has ankle.

22:29: Marlon, who was missing during the early part of the World Championship due to an illness, enters the match with Brazil leading 20-15.

22:24: The brilliant green and yellow of Brazil dominants the wave that breaks out in the Palalottomatica with Brazil leading 16-12 at the second technical timeout.

22:23: Bruno and Murilo scored back-to-back spikes and Cuba hit long to push Brazil out in front 15-12, inching ever so close to a third straight gold medal.

22:15: Murilo lies on the court hurt for a brief time, but continues on in the match. For the match he has four points and 19 for the tournament. Brazil goes into the first technical timeout leading 8-7 after Cuba leads early.

22:07: The gold-medal match - without Italy in the final - attracted 11,605 fans and just shy of the capacity of 12,000 for the Palalottomatica.

22:06: Brazil cruised to the 25-14 victory in the second set, taking advantage of 11 Cuba errors. Vissotto continues to be the hot hand for Brazil with five more points in the second set to push his match total to 11 points.

22:03: Brazil are attempting to become the second team to ever win the FIVB Men's world Championship three consecutive times. Italy accomplished the feat in 1990, 1994 and 1998. Brazil's most recent gold medals were in 2002 and 2006.

22:01: Brazil continue to control the second set with an 18-10 advantage. Cuba has 17 errors in the match so far.

21:59: More on the age comparison of the two teams competing in the World Championship gold medal. Brazil's youngest player - Bruno - was born in July 1986. Only three players on Cuba's squad - Diaz (1985), Camejo (1983) and Bell (1982) - are older than Bruno.

21:53: One team to the next. Brazil star Giba made his volleyball club debut in 1991 at the age of 15 and played in the FIVB Youth World Championship. At the time, Cuba teen sensation Wilfredo Leon was not even born (1993).

21:46: Brazil continue the upperhand by staking themselves to a 4-0 lead in the second set, thanks to back-to-back errors by Cuba. Cuba are accustomed to errors in their high-risk, high-reward offense. They had 31 errors in the semifinal victory over Serbia and 41 errors versus Bulgaria in the final third-round match in Florence.

21:42: Vissotto slams a spike for the set winner at 25-22. Bruno, who went out of yesterday's semifinal victory over Italy, has distributed the ball so that six different hitters have scored an attack point, led by Vissotto's four attack and six overall points.

21:38: Hernandez lasered an ace between Brazil defenders at 21-19, prompting a Brazil timeout and the crowd to get further behind Cuba.

21:36: As quickly as Brazil re-built the six-point lead, Cuba cut it in half with three unanswered points resulting in a timeout at 20-17.

21:34: After Cuba starting to show life in the match cutting into a six-point 16-10 deficit to 18-14, Brazil answered with two straight points to resume a six-point lead at 20-14.

21:29: Brazilian Inter Milan football player Lucio is spotted in the VIP tribune. It is good to see other sports stars taking in this World Championship and supporting their fellow countrymen.

21:22: The rocket serve of Dante goes for an ace off Leal, leading to an 8-3 Brazil lead at the first technical timeout. Then Brazil increased their advantage to 9-3 with a block by Lucas.

21:20: Brazil opens up with a 6-2 lead in the opening set, testing the youth of Cuba. Brazil already has two blocks and an ace, led by three points from Dante.

21:18: With Italy not playing in the gold-medal match, who will the fans be cheering for?  Based on flags and country colors, it seems to be somewhat equal in visual support. Let's see if the neutral fans begin to support one team or the other.

21:16: A nice tribute just given - a minute of silence for four Italian soldiers killed in action in Afghanistan.

21:14: Cuba may be thankful for their youth in this World Championship. They have played four of their eight matches to five sets - winning all four such matches.

21:12: Italy's own Simone Santi is introduced as the second referee, whistling in the biggest volleyball event in Italy since their last World Championship hosted in 1978.

21:08: Teams out for the national anthem. Based on the facial expressions, neither are showing the pressure of a gold-medal match.

21:05: Cuba and Brazil faced each other in the 2010 FIVB World Championship opening round with Cuba winning in five sets (34-32, 18-25, 23-25, 25-21, 15-12). Fernando Hernandez scored 28 points in that opening round match for Cuba, while teen sensation Wilfredo Leon added 24 points. Murilo led Brazil with 24 points.

21:03: Brazil are playing in their fourth FIVB World Championship gold-medal match, winning the last two events (2002 and 2006) and earning silver in 1982. On the flip side, Cuba is a relative newcomer to the World Championship top match. They earned silver in 1990, while taking bronze in 1978 and 1998.

20:20: To warmup, two-time defending World Champion Brazil, also known for their soccer, play a brand of keep-away with the Mikasa volleyball using their feet - alas soccer style. Cuba is doing laps around the court and stretching.

20:15: Brazil comes on to the court amix a chorus of both cheers and boos. Cuba receives a warm welcome as it comes onto the court.

20:03: View the bronze- and gold-medal match in photos through the FIVB Slideshow by clicking here

19:45: The Serbia-Italy press conference concludes

19:31: Serbia coach Igor Kolakovic opens the coach phase of the press conference

19:21: The media begin to question the captains during the press conference

19:15: Serbia captain Nikola Grbic starts the press conference in front of a packed room full of media

19:05: Mastrangelo, Fei and Sala leave the court to an applause. Fei signs some autographs while holding his daughter.

19:03: Official P-2 statistics for the Serbia-Italy match: click here. Extended P-3 statistics for the contest: click here.

19:01: Official attendance for the bronze-medal match is 10,808. Most are still in the stands.

18:58: Serbia taking a team picture with the full delegation.

18:56: Italy's Fei brings onto the court his children as he cools down.

18:55: Serbia gathers on the court to celebrate, lifting captain Nikola Grbic in the air. He had a team-leading 218 international caps entering this World Championship.

18:53: Bronze goes to Serbia as Miljokovic pounds a spike down the right side for the 25-19 victory and his match-high 23rd point.

18:52: An Italy service error and attack error quiets the crowd with Serbia now leading 23-17.

18:51: Chants of Italia break out.

18:50: Serbia answered with two quick points bringing the lead back to six at 20-14.

18:48: The Italy block brings the crowd back into the match as the Azzurri move to within five at 18-13 leading a Serbian timeout. After the timeout, Italy scores again to move to 18-14.

18:44: Serbia take a 16-7 lead into the second technical timeout of the fourth set.

18:44: The 2010 FIVB Men's World Championship is the 16th such event, the first being staged in 1949 in Prague. Italy also hosted the 1978 FIVB Men's World Championship, which led to a silver medal.

18:39: Serbia look like they are on a mission to close the match in four sets as they lead 12-6 leading to Italy's second timeout of the set.

18:37: Serbia take an 8-5 lead into the first technical timeout of the fourth set.

18:32: Serbia's leading scorer going into the fourth set is Miljkovic with 18 points, while Parodi paces Italy with 16 points.

18:31: Zaytsev scored five points in the third set, including four spikes on five attempts to go with the winning ace.

18:30: Like the four FIVB World League matches between the two teams, this match will not be settled in three sets. Italy hope to get the chance for the fourth five-set match of the year between the teams.

18:28: Serbia saved four set points, but could not stop super-Italian sub Zaytsev's ace at 28-26. The crowd seems to sense a rally in the making.

18:26: Serbia save both set points as Podrascanin puts up a block tying the set at 24-24.

18:23: The Italy crowd is at their loudest with Italy leading 23-22. Then it only got louder after Zaytsev ended a long rally with a spike off the Serbia block to give Italy set points at 24-22.

18:20: After a break, Parodi slams an overpass spike for a point tying the set, then Mastrangelo puts up a block leaving Italy in front 21-20. The Italian crowd is in the match.

18:19: A Serbian overpass on a tough serve followed with Zaytsev, on as a reserve off the bench, spike from the back row breaking the crowd into a frenzy as Italy cuts the gap to one, 20-19.

18:17: An Italian block intensifies the crowd as their team closes to 18-16. Even after a Serbia tip for a point, the Italy crowd only gets louder spurring on their favorite team.

18:16: Sensing Italy's medal chances may be waning, the Italian crowd picks up the noise as Serbia goes into a timeout up 17-14.

18:14: Fans get loud during the second technical timeout as event staff shoot t-shirts into the loudest sections through air guns.

18:12: The third set continues to be a back-and-forth affair as Italy comes back to tie the frame at 12-12. Yet, Serbia takes advantage of a Italian error to go back up 14-12.

18:09: Serbia quickly turns the tide with three unanswered points to resume an 11-9 lead.

18:06: Italy quickly takes the lead at 9-8 following consecutive aces by Savani, which fires up the crowd. During the break, the theme song from the American program Addams Family gets the fans more into the match.

18:05: Serbia continues to perform well on the court taking an 8-5 lead into the first technical timeout. Serbia's Miljkovic, the top scorer from players who reached the semifinals in Rome, has 14 points in the match to lead all scorers.

18:00: Serbia connected for a 55 attack per cent in the second set and through the first two sets hold a 9-4 advantage in blocks.

17:59: Italy finished fifth in the last two FIVB Men's World Championships events (2006 and 2002) after winning three consecutive events (1990, 1994, 1998).

17:57: A cheerleader group and Volly on the court trying to re-energize the Italian fans.

17:56: Satnkovic blocks the Italian attack to end the second set 25-20 in favor of Serbia.

17:54: Serbia, including their time under the flags of Yugoslavia and Serbia & Montenegro, have reached the semifinals in the FIVB Men's World Championship in the last four events. Before 2010, they finished fourth as Serbia & Montenegro in 2006 and fourth as Yugoslavia in 2002. They had their best-ever finish with the silver medal in 1998 under the Yugoslavia flag.

17:50: Serbia take a 16-14 lead into the second technical timeout, then continues with two more points out of the break to gain a four-point cushion at 18-14 forcing an Italy timeout.

17:49: Italy pull to within one point at 15-14 drawing a louder response from the partisan crowd.

17:48: Serbia hold a slight overall advantage having won 27 of the 48 matches between the two nations. A win will see Serbia claim only their second World Championship medal after picking up silver in 1998 while bronze will add to Italy’s three gold (1990-1998) and one silver in 1978.

17:46: Italy and Serbia have played some epic battles this year. Three of the four World League matches between the two teams went the full five sets, while the other was a four-set match. The teams split the four-match World League series.

17:45: Italy calls timeout down 14-10.

17:42: To view the FIVB photos of the match, click here.

17:35: Through the first set, Serbia's main advantage was their 5-2 margin in blocks and Italy had five service errors.

17:34: With their team down one set, the Italian fans come to life. But it is Satnkovic that scores the first point of the second set.

17:31: Miljkovic serves an ace that finds the back line to cap the set at 25-21.

17:28: Serbia responds with two quick points to go back up by three at 23-20, then reaches set point at 24-21.

17:27: An Italian timeout as they are down 21-18 proves beneficial as two quick points come out of the break to narrow the gap to 21-20.

17:22: Fans are into the match after an Italian serve just narrowly misses the line for ace, leaving Serbia with a 16-15 edge at the second technical timeout.

17:20: Italian fans become quieter as Serbia closes to within one at 14-13. Even after a timeout, the momentum was not stopped as Serbia put up a block that Italy allowed to fall on the line to tie the set. An ace then put Serbia in front 15-14.

17:13: Serbia scores three straight before Italy reach the first technical timeout leading 8-5.

17:10: Fei slams a spike as Italy goes up 5-1 leading to a Serbia timeout. The noise in the competition hall does not quiet throughout the timeout.

17:00: After the Serbia national anthem was played, the Italian fans clapped in unison during the host national anthem then changing into a chant. Lots of pride flowing for the home team.

16:58: Volly, mascot of the FIVB Men's World Championship, pumping up the largely Italian fan base

16:57: Italy and Serbia finishing up the official warmup

16:38: Serbia and Italy, escorted by young boys and girls, walk out to cheers at the PallaLottomattica. Moments later, the teams shake hands and the focus on the bronze medal resumes.

16:45: Fans continue to filter through the gates of PallaLottomattica, Italian flags waving and thunder sticks adding to the decibel level.

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FIVB Press Department Director - Richard Baker
Mobile. +39 334 914 1332

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