Singapore, Singapore, August 21, 2010 - Serbia earned the historic victory in the first-ever match of the 2010 Singapore Youth Olympic Games in Toa Payoh Sports Hall with a 3-1 win over D.R. Congo (25-15, 25-18, 22-25, 25-21) in the boys’ competition on Saturday.
After trailing 3-4 early in the first set, Serbia caught fire, scoring nine straight points before serving the ball into the net, bringing the score to 12-5, on their way to a ten-point lead, one which they wouldn’t relinquish.
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The second set saw Congo start well, scoring four straight points to take an early 5-1 lead. However, Serbia managed to tie the scores at 10-10, before edging ahead and holding on to the lead for the rest of the set.
Congo won their only set in the third after jumping to a 3-0 lead. Serbia led as late as 20-19, but Congo earned the next three points.
The Serbians played with two setters for much of the fourth set, and the tactical move worked well with Serbia never trailing in the final set.
"I chose to have two setters because it can be a surprise for our opponents" Serbia coach Milan Djuricic said. "The two guys are setters at their own club, and I think they can become really good in the future."
Filip Stoilovic had a game-high 17 points for Serbia. Cedomir Stankovic led Serbia with two blocks. Salva Mbuyi Banza was the best scorer for Congo with 14 points.
"At the beginning of the match, the guys were very stressed and nervous, so we have to work on that for the next one," Congo coach Jean Claude Kinsama Eanga said. "We can train harder tomorrow to improve ourselves, especially on the serve, which gave us a lot of problems."
Serbia’s next match is against Russia on Sunday at 12:30, while Congo plays against Russia on Monday at 10:00.