World League 2005 Press & News - Week 5

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Brazilian fans young and old love their Volleyball
 
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Brazil claim Final Round spot while Pools B & C remain open
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 26, 2005 – Champions for the past two years Brazil will defend their crown in the Final Round in Belgrade after securing the Pool A ticket following two straight set victories over Japan Sao Paulo during Week Five of the Intercontinental Round, while their closest rivals Portugal split their matches with Venezuela. Portugal needed to do the double in Caracas and after completing an excellent 3-0 (25-20, 25-20, 25-22) win on Friday, they collapsed badly as Venezuela triumphed 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-19) on Sunday, eliminating Portugal from the race. With one round (two matches) still to play, Pool A sees Brazil on top (9-1), Portugal second (6-4), Venezuela third (5-5) and Japan still searching for their first win. More
Pic: Support for Brazil at home was amazing
 
Race still on in all three pools
June 25, 2005 – The 2005 World League continues to keep fans on the edge of their seats heading into the final day of Week 5 of the Intercontinental Round on Sunday with all three Pools still undecided in the race for the Final Round in Belgrade. Automatic qualifiers Serbia & Montenegro silenced over 11,000 local fans when they pipped Poland on Saturday in a marathon five-set cliff hanger 3-2 (23-25, 23-25, 25-20, 25-21, 15-10) in Katowice, which opens the door for third placed Greece to close the gap on the Pool C leaders, when they play Argentina on Sunday. More
Pic: Italy fought back to beat Cuba after losing on Friday
 
Cuba go top of Pool B after claiming Italian scalp
Havana, Cuba, June 24, 2005 – World number 16 Cuba pleased over 15,000 passionate fans who witnessed their 3-0 (25-21, 25-19, 25-21) win over last year’s silver medallists Italy. The win, where Raidel Poey, Yasser Portuondo and Osmany Juantorena all made superb contributions, propels Cuba to the top of Pool B, one point ahead of Italy, with their sixth victory perhaps being the most important of the lot as they aim to qualify for the World League finals for the first time since 2001. It is the first time that Cuba has defeated Italy in three sets during a preliminary match of the World League. The Caribbean team had beaten Italy 3-0 on the 1998 final. More
 
Stunning win keeps Portugal in the hunt as Argentina drop out of contention
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 24, 2005 – Over 8,000 fans in Caracas stood and applauded an outstanding Portuguese performance in beating Venezuela in Pool A to keep their Final Round hopes alive in the latest match of Round Five of the 2005 World League Intercontinental Round. Other results saw Bulgaria give their Final Round chances a substantial boost in Pool B after beating France while Pool C is now down to a two-horse race after Poland and Greece beat Serbia and Montenegro and Argentina respectively. More
 
Tough at the top of Pool B
Havana, Cuba, June 24, 2005 – Cuba and Italy will play two games on Friday and Saturday at Havana’s Ciudad Deportiva Hall in their attempt to keep the lead of Pool B of the 2005 World League Intercontinental Round. Roberto García, the head coach of the home team, said that the first match is the key and his players are ready to do their best on court to win. “Mathematically, this group is not decided, obviously, a 2-0 or a 1-1 split against Italy will put us in a better position to qualify for the final,” he added after confirming the list of 12 players. He admitted that “we had some difficulties against Bulgaria last week, but we managed to beat them and won the second match, but we faced one of the best team in the world.” More
Pic: In round two Cuba and Italy split both their matches
Poland at full strength for first time
Katowice, Poland, June 23, 2005 – Pool C leaders Poland will have their full strength lineup start a match for the first time in the 2005 World League when they play final round hosts Serbia and Montenegro in Round Five of the Intercontinental Round this weekend. Both matches are expected to be sell out affairs as Poland’s passionate supporters are renowned for filling every last seat when Poland play at home and Polish coach Raul Lozano believes his side will definitely take advantage of that fact starting in the first game, which is played on Friday night at 17:00 GMT. More
Pic: Poland's seventh player - the fans
 
Heat on Portugal and Greece to stay in contention
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 22, 2005 – A pair of victories to Brazil against Japan in Pool A and Poland, who visit Serbia and Montenegro in Pool C, this weekend will put both sides in the driver’s seat for claiming a Final Round berth after this weekend’s fifth round. Both countries have a two point lead (two points for a win and one for a defeat) over their nearest rivals - Portugal in Pool A and Greece in Pool C - and any slip up by their closest opponents could spell an early finish for the race for the Final Round tickets, provided both Brazil and Poland do the double this weekend. More Pic: Portugal will try and keep their fans happy by beating Venezuela twice this weekend
 
Crucial Cuba-Italy showdown named “match of the week”
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 22, 2005 – The top of the table showdown in Pool B between Cuba and Italy in Havana will have fans in living rooms around the world glued to their seats after being selected as the FIVB’s “match of the week” for Round Five. For the fifth week running, the FIVB will provide a live satellite broadcast of a key World League game and the second match between Cuba and last year’s silver medalists Italy on Sunday 26 June at 00:40 GMT (20:40 p.m. Saturday night local time) in the "Ciudad Deportiva" Coliseum, Havana has plenty riding on it. Both sides are level on 13 points with five wins and three defeats so if one side manages to do the double this weekend they will take a handy lead going into the final Intercontinental Round next weekend for the race to win the pool and claim the one ticket on offer to the Final Round in Belgrade. More French Spanish
Pic: Cuba and Italy split their matches in Round Two in Italy collecting a 3-1 victory each