World League 2005 Press & News - Week 4

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Nearly 40,000 fans turned out for Brazil's first matches at home against Portugal
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Serbia and Montenegro and Argentina break tie breaker record
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 20, 2005 – Serbia and Montenegro and Argentina were definitely hard to separate in their two matches in Round Four of the Intercontinental Round last weekend with last year’s bronze medallists winning both matches at home 3-1 (22-25, 25-18, 25-17, 25-21) and 3-2 (25-21, 32-30, 27-29, 17-25, 34-32).
But the second match in Novi Sad, which lasted two hours and 25 minutes, was unbelievably tight with Serbia and Montenegro and Argentina playing the longest tie-break in the history of the World League. More
Pic: Serbia and Montenegro and Argentina played for 34 minutes in the tie break
Brazil, Cuba & Poland hold finals tickets after Round Four
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 19, 2005 – With the winner’s of each of the three pools in the 2005 World League Intercontinental Round joining hosts Serbia and Montenegro in the four-team Final Round, defending champions Brazil, world number 16 Cuba and European heavyweights Poland are in pole position in their respective groups in the race for qualifying for the finals, following the completion of Round Four on Sunday. More Pic: Tight at the top - Cuba split their matches with Bulgaria in Pool B.

Venezuela complete clean sweep of Japan
June 19, 2005 – Venezuela completed a weekend sweep of Japan in Pool A of the World League with a 3-0 victory (25-21, 25-21, 25-21) at Yoyogi National Stadium in Tokyo on Sunday. Venezuela had also beaten Japan in straight sets on Saturday.
Pic: Japanese captain Masaji Ogino blocks the spike of Venezuela's Carlos Tejeda

Italy top Pool B, Brazil and Serbia & Montenegro win
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 18, 2005 – Last year’s three World League medalists Brazil, Italy and Serbia and Montenegro all collected crucial victories on Saturday beating Portugal, France and Argentina respectively in the latest matches of Round Four of the Intercontinental Round. More
Pic: Hugo Gaspar (21 points) from Portugal, tries to find a hole in the Brazilian defence as Brazil beat Portugal 3-1 (26-24, 25-23, 20-25, 25-18)


Venezuela & Bulgaria stay in Final Round contention
June 18, 2005 – Both Venezuela and Bulgaria did their chances of reaching the 2005 World League Final Round a world of good by both recording impressive victories over Japan and Cuba respectively in their opening matches of Round Four of the Intercontinental Round. More
Pic: The atmosphere was electric in Havana's Sports City Coliseum where Bulgaria beat Cuba

Two five-set thrillers see Italy & Poland take the spoils
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 17, 2005 – Round Four of the 2005 World League Intercontinental Round started in unbelievable style with two matches going the distance on Friday. In Pool B Italy beat France 3-2 (19-25, 18-25, 26-24, 25-17, 15-13) in Grenoble while in Athens, Poland increased their lead at the top of Pool C with a 3-2 (19-25, 25-21, 25-18, 18-25, 15-13) win over Greece in Athens. More
Pic: Gérald Hardy Dessources on attack for France

Top of the table matches top the bill again
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 17, 2005 - In golf, the penultimate day is commonly know as moving day, where players position themselves in order to challenge for honours on the final run home. With three more weeks remaining in the 2005 World League Intercontinental Round the same terminology can be applied to this weekend's matches as Round Four is shaping up as a crucial weekend for teams to position themselves for the run home. More French Spanish

Huge assignment ahead for Portugal in Brazil
June 18, 2005 – World number 18 Portugal pulled off an historic victory over World League defending champions Brazil in Round Two of the Intercontinental Round and they will need to do it again when the two top sides in Pool A meet this weekend in Brasilia. Last time out Portugal had the advantage of the home crowd and managed to split their matches with the Olympic and world champions but one sees an enormous obstacle for the Europeans playing Brazil at home in Round Four.More Pic: Portugal's Hugo Gaspar faces a massive Brazilian block when the two teams met in Round Two
Plenty at stake for Japan & Venezuela in Pool A
Tokyo, Japan, June 17, 2005 - Although Portugal and four-time champions Brazil are dominating Pool A in the 2005 World League, the head coaches of Japan and Venezuela say they still have plenty to play for this weekend.
At a press conference in Tokyo on Friday evening, Japan's Tatsuya Ueta and Venezuela's Eliseo Ramos said the World League would continue to play an important part in the overall development of their respective teams. More

Crunch time in France
June 17, 2005 – Two big European heavyweights France and Italy square off in Grenoble on Friday night looking to hand the other side the knock out punch in the race for the Final Round. Both teams are level in Pool B with three wins and three defeats behind leaders Cuba having split their matches in every round of the Intercontinental Round to date, so, either side who does the double this weekend, could seriously hamper their opponent’s chances of reaching the Final Round. More
Pic: Italy and France split their matches in round two, both winning 3-0
Greece hoping to stop slide
June 17, 2005 – After winning their opening two matches, world number eight Greece will be hoping to change a run which has seen them win only one of the last four games when they play Pool C leaders Poland in Athens tonight.
It is by no means a crisis but Greece, who currently sit second in the pool with three wins from six matches, suffered two defeats at the hands of Poland, who have five victories to their name, in week two and with the winner of the group advancing to the final round and only three rounds remaining in the Intercontinental Round, two wins to Poland, could leave the world number seven needing only victory from their remaining four matches. More Pic: Poland beat Greece twice at home in round two

Thumbs up for Belgrade ahead of Final Round
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 16, 2005 - The venue for the 2005 World League Final Round in Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro was inspected last weekend and given an outstanding endorsement by Managing Director of the World League Council Mr. Franz Schmied who said; "The Hall is amazing and I believe that the Final Round in Belgrade will be a real spectacle for everyone."

One change for Argentina
June 15, 2005 – Following last weekend’s win and loss 3-2 (17-25, 23-25, 25-23, 30-28, 15-13) and 1-3 (21-25, 19-25, 25-19, 14-25) against Greece in round three of the 2005 World League Intercontinental Round, Argentina coach Fabian Armoa has made just one change to his team of 12 players. Argentina travel to Belgrade on Wednesday for the first of two Pool C matches against last year’s bronze medallists Serbia & Montenegro with the left handed 24-year-old Santiago Darraidou replacing opposite Lucas Chavez. More Pic: Argentina's block has been one of the best parts of their game
Serbia and Montenegro stars set to return
June 14, 2005 – Three of Serbia and Montenegro’s super stars Nikola Grbić, Ivan Miljković and Andrija Gerić are expected to make their first appearances in the 2005 World League this weekend in round four of the Intercontinental Round as the final round hosts prepare to welcome Argentina. The 2000 and 2004 Olympians, who play setter, wing spiker and middle blocker respectively, have missed the opening three rounds as part of their recovery from a busy season and of coach Ljuba Travica’s plan to introduce new talent into the Serbia and Montenegro system. More Pic: Ivan Miljković (14) and Andrija Gerić (12) form part of the Serbia and Montenegro defence against Brazil in last year's World League final round