World League 2005 News
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High intensity action as Cuba and Poland remain unbeaten - France and SCG record welcome victories

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 3, 2005 – Two stunning victories for Cuba over Italy and Poland over Greece sees both sides remain unbeaten on top of their respective pools following the four opening matches of the second round of the 2005 World League Intercontinental Round on Friday.

In Pool C, Poland come from behind to beat Greece 3-2 (17-25, 25-23, 19-25, 25-20, 15-13) while final round hosts Serbia & Montenegro collected their first victory of the tournament by handing Argentina their third successive defeat 3-1 (25-23, 25-20, 19-25, 26-24). In Pool B, Cuba’s sensational unbeaten run continued with their third victory in as many matches after beating Italy 3-1 (24-26, 25-18, 25-20, 25-22) while France snuck past Bulgaria in a five-set marathon 3-2 (25-20, 18-25, 25-21, 21-25, 15-13).

Both Cuba and Poland are setting the World League alight with some exhilarating play but with Romero Poey leading the way with 24 points, Cuba are in awesome form, highlighted by the fact that coach Roberto Garcia made only one change to his starting lineup all match in Busto Arsizio.

“Why no changes?” Garcia asked. “Because all my players played an excellent game. It is clear that in certain conditions you won't change anything. We played well from the beginning until the last ball.”

We played a great game,” Cuba captain Pavel Pimienta said. “We have to stay on this path and go further. We are only at the very beginning.”

For Italy, the world number two and last year’s silver medalists, it was their second loss in three matches as coach Gian Paolo Montali continues to experiment with new players.

“It is clear that we are in a difficult situation,” Montali said. “We are searching for our best way of playing Volleyball. We don't have the team complete and in good shape but in the away games, far from home, we will find less pressure.”

France, who welcomed back exceptional libero Hubert Henno from injury but were missing Philippe Barca-Cysique for the same reason, collected their second win to move into second place in Pool B.

Meanwhile, Poland continue their glorious run under new coach Raul Lozano. They beat Greece in the battle of the two unbeaten sides in Pool C despite both sides suffering from an horrific injury toll. Helped by over 9,000 screaming fans, Poland’s plight was best illustrated by the fact that libero Krzysztof Ignaczak played spiker for the first time in five years but it was Mariusz Wlazly who led the way with 25 points.

Final round hosts Serbia and Montenegro moved into clear third in the group after beating a disappointing Argentina side who were hoping for better things in front of over 10,000 passionate fans. Sunday’s television “match of the day” promises plenty in the rematch.

Saturday’s action sees Pool A open their account with Portugal hosting defending champions Brazil in Lisbon at 15:00 GMT and Venezuela taking on Japan at 19:00 GMT. The second matches between Poland and Greece and France and Bulgaria also feature on Saturday.

 
 
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