Menu WL


WL2008 Home
Competition Info
Match of the week
Match Info
LIVE Scorebox
Best Players
Previous Editions

Press releases
Russia still unbeaten after second weekend in 2008 FIVB World League

The tall Russian triple block stops Cuba Yoandy Leal's attack

Lausanne, June 22, 2008 – A double victory over Cuba in Havana granted the Russian team the top standing in Pool B, the only team unbeaten among the 16 nations competing in the FIVB World League 2008. Brazil in Pool A, USA in Pool C and a surprising Egypt in Pool D are leading the other standings after the second weekend of the flagship annual event in Men’s Volleyball involving the world's best players competing for more than USD 20 million Prize Money.


Pool A
While the SWATCH FIVB World Tour was attracting the Beach Volleyball fans under the Eiffel Tower, Bercy Sports Hall in Paris welcomed the Volleyball challenge between France and Brazil. The first match was won by the new group prepared by coach Philippe Blain 3-2 (25-22, 23-25, 25-23, 22-25, 15-13). In the second game, with Samuel Tuia back on the bench with an injured ankle, France could not stop the Brazilian strikeforce. Samuel Fuchs and Murilo Endres did their best to win the match 3-0 (31-29, 25-21, 25-17).

Thanks to Ernardo Gomez’s 21 points, Venezuela got its first victory in the 2008 World League, beating Serbia 3-1 (25-20, 19-25, 25-23, 25-22). The second match was another story: Serbia hushed the fantastic audience in Caracas by beating the host team 3-0 (25-21, 25-21, 25-18).


Pool B
Russia lost just one set in Havana, Cuba, closing the second weekend as the best team of the 2008 World League. After the first 3-1 win (21-25, 25-21, 25-20, 25-21) in front of 14,000 spectators, Vladimir Akekno’s team earned another straight victory (25-17, 25-21, 25-22), while Cuba showcased the youngest player ever on a World League court, 14-year-old Wilfredo Leon.

Thanks to a double 3-2 in Ulsan, Korea, Italy confirmed its second place in Pool B. In the first match (25-23, 21-25, 25-22, 17-25, 11-15) the performance of Sung-Min Moon (29 points) was not enough to stop the “Azzurri," while the strong Italian block (16 points) was a key factor for the second win (23-25, 22-25, 25-15, 25-19, 15-9).


Pool C
A better point ratio gives USA the leadership in the standings of Pool C, after the double challenge in Sears Centre Arena in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. USA was firing on all cylinders on Friday to defeat Bulgaria 25-23, 25-16, 25-16. The second match lived up to its billing as it came down to a fifth set, which Bulgaria won 12-25, 25-16, 25-20, 12-25, 15-13 on Saturday.

U.S. Head Coach Hugh McCutcheon said: "We missed seven served in the fifth set. When you give away seven points in a set that ends at 15, it is hard to win."

It was a weekend to forget for Finland after the double loss against Spain in Valladolid. Spain achieved its first victory in World League 2008 after beating Finland 3-2 (21-25, 19-25, 25-19, 25-20, 15-10). The Spanish fought very hard to make their way in the game, and were forced to come back after trailing 0-2 in order to win the disputed match on the tie-break.

The second match was even easier for Spain (25-18, 26-24, 21-25, 25-22), the local squad proving too hard to handle for Finland. "We are very happy for the outcome of this weekend, since we achieved our goal of winning the two matches," said Miguel Angel Falasca, Spanish setter and captain.


Pool D
"Now we are trying to qualify to the finals if we continued the same performance," said Egypt Head Coach Ahmed Zakaria. Egypt is the most impressive team after the second weekend, topping Pool D. Japan had no chance against the host team, losing both matches 3-1. Egypt fought for 108 minutes to breeze past the solid Japan team (30-32, 25-21, 25-22, 25-21) in their first match, then rebounded from one set behind to edge the Asian Olympic qualifiers Japan (21-25, 26-24, 25-18) in 99 minutes of stunning action watched by about 5,000 spectators.

Hangzhou hosted the matches between China and Poland ending 1-1. China won the first game (26-24, 25-21, 22-25, 25-18), then Poland recovered to beat China 3-2 (24-26, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19, 15-12). "Our solution for the second match was to reduce mistakes in dig and serve," said Poland Head Coach Raul Lozano in the press conference. "We still have a long way to go."


The organizer (Brazil), the winner of each pool, plus one wild card chosen by the FIVB, go through to the Final Round in Rio de Janeiro from July 23-27, 2008.



More press releases
27.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: First-ever gold medal for USA; Brazil off podium after 10 years  
26.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Serbia and USA for the gold medal on Sunday  
25.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Brazil, Serbia, Russia and USA make semi-finals  
24.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: An easy task for Russia against Japan, USA win long battle with Poland  
23.07.2008 A yellow wave of support for Serbia  
23.07.2008 FIVB World League Final Round: Brazil and Serbia earn straight wins on 1st day in Rio  
23.07.2008 More than 75 countries will watch first match of World League Finals on TV  
22.07.2008 Host country Brazil ready to face Russian block on Wednesday in Rio de Janeiro at FIVB World League Final Round  
20.07.2008 Serbia, Poland join hosts Brazil, Russia, USA, wild-card Japan in FIVB World League Final Round after exciting end to Intercontinental Round action  
16.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: France, Serbia, Poland, China chasing remaining two Final Round places  
15.07.2008 Japan is granted the wild card for the 2008 World League Final  
13.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: Russia and USA reach Brazil as qualified teams for Final Round in Rio  
10.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: France, Russia, USA, Poland in pole positions as other teams get ready to mount challenge on fifth weekend of Intercontinental Round  
06.07.2008 France, Russia, USA, Poland sit in qualifying positions to join Brazil in FIVB World League Final Round after fourth weekend of Intercontinental Round  
02.07.2008 FIVB World League 2008: Excitement builds as fourth weekend of Intercontinental Round action approaches  
30.06.2008 Brazil, Russia, China, USA lead pools after third weekend of FIVB World League Intercontinental Rounds  
27.06.2008 I am very satisfied with this victory, says French Coach Philippe Blain  
25.06.2008 Only one team still with 100 percent record as FIVB 2008 World League enters third weekend of Intercontinental Round action  
22.06.2008 Venezuela make history in beating Serbia  
19.06.2008 Big teams face tricky away trips as 2008 FIVB World League heats up on second weekend of Intercontinental Round action  
16.06.2008 Overall Report (June.14th ~June.15th)  
16.06.2008 Brazil, USA, Russia, Bulgaria, France get off to perfect starts as fans flock to start of 2008 FIVB World League  
12.06.2008 2008 FIVB World League to start Friday with exciting clashes between top teams  
06.06.2008 Countdown to 2008 FIVB World League: 'Match of the Week' Brazil vs. Serbia and China vs. Japan stand out ahead of first weekend of Intercontinental Rounds  
03.06.2008 FIVB approves Chinese request to switch host city from Chengdu to Hangzhou for 2008 World League matches after devastation caused by earthquake  
28.05.2008 U.S Men hold of Argentina in five-set friendly win  
28.05.2008 FIVB confirms World League 'Match of the Week' schedule: Six live Intercontinental Round matches made available free of charge to TV channels  
16.05.2008 Egypt Head Coach selects squad for 2008 FIVB World League; Iran camp cancelled  
30.04.2008 FIVB confirms receipt of World League team lists  
15.04.2008 USA Men to play against Argentina  
03.04.2008 FIVB confirms 2008 World League match schedule  
21.02.2008 USA Volleyball announces host cities for 2008 World League  
12.02.2008 Venezuela to compete in the 2008 FIVB World League  
23.01.2008 A bid for a place in the FIVB World League 2008, after Canada’s withdrawal  
15.10.2007 Spain returns to the FIVB World League 2008  
28.09.2007 FIVB World League 2008: a confirmation of success. Brazil will organize the Final Round. Francesco Franchi nominated President of the World League Council