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Men's World Championship 2002 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Italy beat Bulgaria 3-2 (31-33, 25-22, 23-25, 25-18, 15-13) - duration 2:00
04-Oct, start time: 18:40, end time: 20:40 - Attendance: 3,930
Italy escapes against Bulgaria
Italy started the second round of the Men's World Championship with a victory over Bulgaria at the Luna Park Stadium in Buenos Aires. It was a hard job for the three time World Champion to clinch the victory, because Bulgaria took two sets. In the fifth set tiebreaker, Italy had a better start and won the European clash.
Bulgaria started the match very concentrated and didn't make any mistake in spiking. On the other hand, Italy showed a great performance in their reception and also in its offensive game. The serving of Samuele Papi and the spike of Hristo Zlatanov pressed the Bulgarian defense and allowed the Italians to get a four point lead. After the second technical time out Bulgaria improved its reception (93%) and the spiking of Vladimir Nikolov (seven points) permits Bulgaria to win the set.
In the beginning of the second set, Bulgaria maintained its good labor in the reception (95%). Italy reduced its unforced errors and Samuele Papi appeared in the game scoring six points together with Alessandro Fei (five points). Moreover the great performance of the libero Mirko Corsano in the reception (100%) helped Italy to win this set.
In the third set, Bulgaria maintained the intensity in its defense, while Italy couldn't spike the ball through the opponent's block. Bulgaria took a lead of three points up to the end of the set.
In the fourth set, the Bulgarians served perfectly and Vladimir Nikolov scored two points with this skill. Bulgaria was leadin 8-3, but the Italians seemed to wake up and changed the way of the match due to the improvement of the block and the good performance of Andrea Sartoretti. Italy leveled the match winning the fourth set.
In the tiebreaker, Italy used its experience. The defending champion could do a good work with the block and Bulgaria didn't spike efficiently, so finally the three World Champion won the match. Bulgaria Vladimir Nikolov was the best scorer with 28 points, followed by Italian Samuele Papi with 22 points.
/ajm