2005 FIVB WORLD GRAND PRIX

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Third time lucky for Italy?

Sendai, Japan, July 16, 2005 - Having already suffered at the hands of Olympic bronze medalists Cuba twice during the 2005 World Grand Prix Preliminary Round, world champions Italy will be hoping for a change of fortunes when they meet in the opening match of Day Four of the Final Round on Saturday. Cuba beat Italy 3-1 (19-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-21) in Week Two and 3-0 (27-25, 25-20, 30-28) in Week One.

Now, if ever there is a time for Italy, who also lost to Cuba in the Olympic Games quarterfinals, to gain revenge, this is it as another victory would put them in an extremely healthy position going into the final two days.

For Cuba, a win is vital as it would effectively put them out of the running with two games to play - even considering those matches are against Japan and the Netherlands - remembering the winner of the round-robin finals becomes 2005 World Grand Prix champion.