Team News

21/05/2003 -
Cuba and Portugal finish World League preparations

Young Cuban squad looking to improve on last World League

The Cuban National Team will enter the fourteenth edition of the World League for the second straight year with a very young squad and modest hopes for the coming tournament. Although some of the players already have a season to their credit and the team is hopeful of a better performance than last year, the Caribbean unit may still not be good enough to rejoin the elite positions they held in the late 1990's. Nevertheless, the team, under the tutorage of Eliseo Ramos since last year, will go to this year's event with something in their favor - one more year of full preparation and the experience of the World Championship in Argentina last October. They have more mature players now, but know the task of qualifying in any pool won't be easy, bearing in mind the evident progress of the established teams and improvement of others already nudging the world elite. "We know the strength of the other teams in our pool (Yugoslavia, Netherlands and China) and we don't forget that Yugoslavia is the Olympic champion and Netherlands have a traditionally front line squad," said Ramos, 51. more Story by Lissette Ricardo Torres, Havana, Cuba and Roosevelt Comarazamy, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic .Pic Lofty and youthful Yosleider Cala (2.02cm and 18 years) poised for action. Click here for Spanish

Click here for news on other teams in Pool C

Click here for details on Cuba's coach

WL Home Page
Live Scoring
Match Reports
Best Players
News & Press
Press Contacts
Match Schedule
Team News
Team Rosters
Star Profiles
2003 General Info
2002 Headlines
2002 Results


Cuba - Pool C (Scroll down for Spanish)

Until recently Cuba was one of the sport's undisputed powerhouses with an impressive history of success in international competitions, however after a number of the national team defected in 2001, the team has had to fast track some of its next generation players - very young but already impressive - into the national side. 
Cuba's best World Championship appearance came in Brazil in 1990 where they claimed the silver medal, while at two World Championships in Italy (1978) and Japan (1998) Cuba won the bronze. At Olympic tournaments, Cuba's best results have been the bronze medal at the 1976 Montreal Olympics and a fourth place in Barcelona (1992). However, the showing of the youthful team at last year's World Championship in Argentina was less impressive, with Cuba scoring a disappointing 19th position and catching an early flight home after first round elimination. The World League was another successful story for Cuba, which has participated in all but the first, 1990 edition of this elite competition. Cuba shares honors as one of the most successful teams in the World League, winning the title in 1998, taking second place on five occasions as well as one third place. But last year, it must be said, the young and inexperienced Cuban team under the guidance of coach Eliceo Ramos Rivas made their first tentative steps back into major competition. While the new, young and inexperienced team managed only two wins in the preliminary phase and finished last in their pool, they gave observers glimpses of what they may be able to produce when hardened to international competition. This year, Cuba claims to be well prepared and motivated, ready to return to the club of the elite. The Cuban boys, certainly still among the youngest players contesting the World League, are presently in 11th place on the FIVB World ranking. They will play Yugoslavia, the Netherlands and China in Pool C. 

Squad: Cala (Ciego de Avila, CUB) ; Cao (C.Habana); Portuando (Santigao de Cuba, CUB); Callard (S. de Cuba) ; Gil (Matanzas, CUB); Pimienta (Camaguey, CUB); Salas (Santiago de Cuba, CUB); Aldazabal (Ciudad Habana, CUB); Poey Romero (Ciudad Habana, CUB); Bell (Santiago de Cuba, CUB); Cruz (Ciudad Habana, CUB); Mendez (Matanzas); Dominico Speek (Ciudad Habana, CUB); Brito Pons (Ciudad Habana, CUB); Ferrer Pons; Juantorena Portuondo; Vinent (V. Clara).

Cuba - Spanish
Hasta recientemente Cuba fue una de las indiscutibles potencias del deporte con una impresionante historia de éxitos en competencias internacionales, sin embargo después que un grupo del equipo nacional desertó en el 2001, el conjunto ha tenido que apresurar a algunos de la siguiente generación de jugadores –muy jóvenes pero ya impresionantes- hacia la escuadra. La mejor aparición de Cuba en un Campeonato Mundial se produjo en Brasil en 1990 donde reclamaron la medalla de plata, mientras que en dos Campeonatos Mundiales en Italia (1978) y Japón (1998) Cuba ganó el bronce. En torneos Olímpicos, los mejores resultados de Cuba han sido la medalla de bronce en los Olímpicos de Montreal en 1976 y un cuarto lugar en Barcelona (1992). Sin embargo, la demostración del joven equipo en el Campeonato Mundial del año pasado en Argentina fue menos impresionante, con Cuba ocupando un desalentador lugar 19 y tomando un temprano vuelo a casa después de la primera ronda eliminatoria. La Liga Mundial fue otra historia exitosa para Cuba, que ha participado en todas menos la primera en 1990 de esta competencia elite. Cuba comparte honores como uno de los equipos más exitosos en la Liga Mundial, ganando el título en 1998, tomando el segundo puesto en cinco ocasiones así como un tercer lugar. Pero el año pasado, debe ser dicho, el joven e inexperto equipo cubano bajo la guía del coach Eliseo Ramos Rivas hizo sus primeros tímidos pasos de regreso a la competencia mayor. Aún cuando el nuevo, joven e inexperto equipo solamente logró dos victorias en la fase preliminar y terminó último en su grupo, dieron a los observadores destellos de lo que podrían ser capaces de producir cuando se endurezcan en la competencia internacional. Este año, Cuba dice estar bien preparada y motivada, lista para regresar al club de la elite. Los muchachos cubanos, ciertamente todavía entre los jugadores más jóvenes compitiendo en la Liga Mundial, están actualmente calificados en el lugar 11 del ranking mundial de la FIVB. Ellos jugarán con Yugoslavia, Holanda y China en el Grupo C.

Prize Money
Cuba Total Prize money US$
8 18 340
Overall Standings for Cuba
World League Played Total Matches played Win Lost % Wins
12 197 132 66 66.5