Macau, August 11, 2010 – After a 3-1 (19-25, 25-20, 25-15, 25-21) defeat at the hands of China in the first weekend of the 2010 FIVB World Grand Prix Preliminary Round in Chengdu, China last weekend, the Netherlands coach Avital Selinger says his side must improve in order to beat the competition leaders.
World Grand Prix official page
China, ranked second in the world, won all three of their matches in the opening round to top the current World Grand Prix standings. The Netherlands, meanwhile, are in fourth with two wins and one defeat and have a win:loss record of three wins in 13 World Grand Prix matches against China to overcome.
"China is a very strong team, and we must improve our performance to stand a chance of beating them," Selinger said. "This is our second time in Macau, and our team will do our best to improve every day, and our first goal is to reach the Ningbo Finals."
The top five teams at the end of the three-weekend Preliminary Round plus hosts China will qualifiy for the Final Round, which will be held in Ningbo from August 25-29.
China have already shown that will be one of the toughest sides to beat, and with two-time defending champions and world No. 1 Brazil and the Dominican Republic also in their group this weekend, they will have their work cut for them to maintain their unbeaten record.
"We are happy to be in Macau, and we are looking to get good results in this leg," China coach Wang Baoquan said. "Our ultimate goal is to win this tournament whilst also improving continuously and prepare for the World Championships and the Asian Games.
“Brazil are the current Olympic champions and we are expecting a tough match," he added. "Our young players have put in some good performances recently, and we will fight and utilize our full capacity in order to beat them."
China take on the Netherlands at 13:00 (GMT) on Friday.