Cuba coach Juan Carlos Gala congratulates Yoana Palacios who contributed 23 points to the victory over Kazakhstan
Cuba coach Juan Carlos Gala:
"I want to congratulate Kazakhstan for a great match. We are in a situation of do-or-die; it's like we're competing for the World Championship in every match. I hope our team continues to play at a high level, we can't afford to let up. The most important thing today is we rediscovered Kenia Carcaces – and also Palacios and Cleger. I think if they can all maintain their level, we will be able to compete.
"I mentioned yesterday that we have a young team and it's been hard to adjust timewise after coming to Japan from Italy. Today is our fourth day and we're just starting to adjust. I think this was a factor in our performances and we were not focused enough. It's tough for these young players to face the top teams in the world.
"(on playing 6-2 formation, rather than 5-1) Definitely we play better better under the 6-2 system."
Cuba captain Yusidey Silie:
"Although we won in five sets, we were much better and we are more united in how we play and we have more confidence. But we still have some problems. Kazakhstan played well tactically, but on many occasions we were able to respond. I'm very happy with the win and we're going to carry on trying to make a big effort and keep winning."
Cuba player Kenia Carcaces:
"We came out to give our best and we expected a tough match from Kazakhstan. I think other teams play hard against us. But we were more united than ever; we have the mental strength of winning athletes and this is an example of what the national team of Cuba can do. We will continue to try and play great volleyball. Today, I think I can say I found myself and now I feel more secure about myself. These things happen to any athlete, but now I'm 100 per cent committed to the team and for us to play as a team."
Kazakhstan coach Nelli Chsherbakova:
"Generally, my players were doing what they were meant to do, but they failed to follow some instructions, especially regarding blocking. If they had blocked as instructed, it would have helped blunt Cuba's attack. That was the key, because Cuba's attack was getting stronger and stronger."
Kazakhstan captain Inna Matveyeva:
"It was a great game and very interesting. We tried to do what we had worked on in training, but at the end of the sets we made some errors, and, in the end, I think we had a bit of bad luck. I feel we're getting better, but luck has been against us."