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Cuba stun Poland in a Pool D clash

Cuba's captain and MVP of Saturday's game Robertlandy Simon Aties beats the Polish block
Lodz, Poland, July 3, 2010 – Cuba beat Poland 3-0 (25-21, 25-22, 26-24) in front of a passionate white-and-red crowd in Lodz on Saturday as the 2010 FIVB World League continued.

The visitors utilized their block and attack and left no doubt as to who was the better side in the first of two matches in Atlas Arena this weekend

Cuba's opposite Rolando Cepeda Abreu topped the scores with 16 points. Wing Spiker Michal Ruciak scored 13 points for the home side, but didn't have enough support to beat their Pool D rivals. Cuban's captain Robertlandy Simon Aties, who finished the game with 15 points, was given the MVP award.

The Cubans started the match well and took an early lead. Spectacular blocking and efficient attack allowed Cuba to stay ahead with solid advantage before Michal Ruciak's clever serves gave Poland the spark they needed to reduce the deficit and level the score at 17-17. However the visiting side showed nereves of steel as aces from Robertlandy Simon Aties gave Cuba the set 25-21.

The visitors jumped out to a flying start once again in the second set. Polish opposite Jakub Jarosz tried to keep the home side close, but it was not easy. Poland's coach Daniel Castellani decided to put in wing spiker Zbigniew Bartman and setter Grzegorz Lomacz but it didn't change the rhythm of the game. Simple mistakes from the Cuba allowed the hosts to staz in the game but it was not enough as the visitors picked up a 25-22 win.

It looked as if Poland had found their rhythm at the beginning of the third set and finally managed to block their rivals' attack. They led 8-5 at the first technical time out, although the Cubans responded in great fashion after the break. The visitors took a four point lead to take it to 20-16 and seemed to be in a full control, but Poland tied the score at 22-22. However it was Cuba who saw out the final set 26-24 leaving the 13,000 Polish fans in the arena disappointed.

Both teams will meet again on Sunday, at 4.30pm local time.

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