Komaki, Japan, August 10, 2011 – Komaki in central Japan sees action in the second weekend of the 2011 FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix with Japan hosting Serbia, USA and the Dominican Republic.
The games start on Friday, but the coaches held a press conference on Wednesday as they looked ahead to the weekends action.
Serbian coach Zoran Terzic:
"This tournament in Japan is definitely stronger than the first one in China. What do we expect? To play well, to do our best and be satisfied after the tournament. We don't know how many points we need to go to the final tournament; it's too early to speak about that. The most important thing is to play well."
"(Re. Condition) My players are well. I'm a little tired (laughs), but that's not so important. Everything is OK and I hope it will be OK until the end of the tournament."
"(Re.strong point) It's difficult to say what the best part of my team is because it changes from game to game. But I think our service blocking is the key."
"(Re. Key player). We don't have a key player at the moment. We must play like a team if we want to win."
"(Re. Japan) It's easy to play against Japan if you're a team like Russia. In any other case, you have a big problem because they play very well, especially in defense and they are very fast. But everybody knows that; it's not new. We've played Japan four or five times in the last five years and it's always a difficult and good game. I hope it will be again, and it's our turn to win, I think."
"(Re Olympics) It's too early to speak about this. This competition is important for us if we want to go to the Olympic Games in London. We have qualification for the World Cup and then European qualification, so we will see. This team of 14 or 15 players will try to go to the London Olympics; it would be the second time in our history."
Japan coach Masayoshi Manabe:
"Our team condition is good and we have no injuries. At the moment, we have two wins and one loss from the Korea round and in this second week we'll be facing three very strong teams in the USA, Serbia and Dominican Republic. They will be key matches for the final round and we will do our best in each match."
"(Re. Improvement) Currently, we are at about 50 per cent, but we hope to be better when the World Cup comes."
"(Strong point and condition) Our strong point is our heart. I think we are strong mentally."
"(Key player) We don't have a single key player. They are all good and we want to use the good points of each player."
"(Re. Serbia) They are a very good team with good service and high blocks."
Dominican Republic coach Marcos Kwiek:
"We are very happy to be here in Japan. This tournament is a very high level and it's wonderful to be able to take part in this competition. The Dominican team always does their best with maximum power in each match. This time we are going to face three top teams and we need to keep a high level, so we will try our best in each match."
"(Re. Strong point and condition) Obviously our strong point is attacking. We have some strong attacking players and we want to play as a united team."
"(Re. Japan) It's not easy to say. It's complicated because Japan have changed their players and their tactics. Before we face Japan, we have two matches, so we will see what we can do."
"(Re. Choice of players for the Olympics) The World Grand Prix is important and we have to think which 12 players we can use. With those 12 players, we will face the continental stage and we hope to come to the World Cup."
USA coach Hugh McCutcheon:
"We are very happy to be in Japan. Our goal, as with the other teams, is to play good volleyball. For us, we hope to keep improving from match to match. Our condition is OK and we hope that it will improve as the tournament goes on."
"(Re. Strength) For our team, I'm not sure what our strength is. It changes, I think. So I just think we're trying to play a good game of volleyball."
"(Re. Star player) As for a star player, we have different athletes that contribute in different ways, so to pick one person out is to do the team an injustice. We have a group of individuals that do battle and fight. Maybe that's our strength right here; the fact that they come out and fight."
"(Re. Japan) Japan is a good volleyball team. As far as strategy, we hope we can play some good volleyball and see if we'll be good enough to beat them or not."
"(Re. Olympics) There are many phases of qualification so it's speculative to discuss it. Our athletes will compete and the best players will earn the right to represent their country at the Olympic Games."