Cuba into finals after doing double
Cuba, July 2, 2005 – The fourth and
final 2005 World League finalist was
confirmed on Saturday night in Havana
after Cuba completed a 3-1 (20-25,
25-22, 25-19, 25-21) victory over France
to secure Pool B and their place in the
four-team final round, joining hosts
Serbia and Montenegro, Pool A winners
Brazil and Pool C winner’s Poland.
Cuba’s sensational World League campaign
was capped with their second victory
over France after they beat the Tri
colours 3-1 (30-32, 25-17, 25-23, 25-21)
on Friday to finish on top of Pool B
with eight wins and four losses, ahead
of Italy, preventing the eight-time
World League champions from reaching the
finals for the first time in the history
of the event.
Pic: Cuba celebrate their first World
League finals appearance since 2001
Cuba improved from a bad start as France
took the initiative to win the opening
set, but the home team reacted and took
control with successive set victories.
"We did our best and made some errors,
but we managed to improve our
performance and finally achieved the win
we all wanted,” Cuba captain Pavel
Pimienta said. “The World League is not
over. We now have the final ahead of us
and we will prepare for it".
For the first time since the glory days
of the 90’s, Cuba have made the World
League top four. Until recently, Cuba
was one of the sport's undisputed
powerhouses with an impressive history
of success in the World League but
following a number of national team
defections in 2001, the Central
Americans had been rebuilding.
Since 2000, Cuba has finished 8th, 5th,
13th, 13th and 7th last year after
finishing no worst than fourth between
1991 and 1999.
In other action, Japan ended their World
League campaign on a high with a second
straight victory over Portugal in Pool A
on Sunday, winning 3-0 (25-21, 25-22,
There are three more matches to play on
Sunday, which will complete the
Intercontinental Round action with
Brazil playing Venezuela at 13:00,
Bulgaria taking on Italy at 17:30 and
Argentina hosting Poland at 21:00 (all
times at GMT).