Havana, Cuba, June 12, 2009 - Cuba and Bulgaria are looking to get their 2009 FIVB World League campaigns off to a good start at the Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum this weekend.
Cuba head coach Orlando Samuels and Bulgaria head coach Silvano Prandi told a press conference they are looking forward to exciting games between the two talented teams, which are in Pool C alongside Russia and Japan.
Both said they respect their rivals and highlighted how important the first match is.
Excerpts from the press conference follow:
Samuels: "We have some new young players, but we have had a better preparation than last season. So we hope to get good results and play at a good level with the help of such talented players as Yoandy Leal and Wilfredo Leon.
"We are very familiar with Bulgarian Volleyball. We have faced them many times and they always have competitive squads. Therefore, we expect a good spectacle in Havana."
Prandi: "I'm very excited to coach Bulgaria after many years coaching in the Italian Professional League. We are trying to find a balance inside our team. I have no idea how many wins will be necessary to qualify for the Final Round. We just want to play at a high level and to gather as many victories as we can.
"I think the service will be decisive in these two games against Cuba. If we serve intelligently and strongly we will have a better chance of winning."
Bulgaria captain Andrey Zhekov: "They will be tough games because Cuba is a young, strong team. They will be two good games, but we hope to win both."
Cuba: Diaz, Sanchez or Cepeda, Simon, Camejo, Leon, Leal and Alvarez (L)
Bulgaria: Zhekov, Nikolov, Gaydarski, Tsvetanov, Kaziyski, Ananiev and Salparov (L)