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World Grand Prix 2005 - Match Descriptive

Match Descriptive

Cuba beat Italy 3-1 (19-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-21) - duration 1:40
03-Jul, start time: 16:00, end time: 17:40 - Attendance: 4'300
City: Manila; Hall : Philsports Arena
Three-time Olympic champion Cuba bounced back from a first-set loss to beat Italy, 19-25, 26-24, 25-23, 25-21
Italy displayed its brilliant attacking skills to dominate the first set, banking on the powerful spikes of Valentina Fiorin and defender Cristina Vicenzi to take an 11-5 lead. Cuba rallied behind Daimi Ramirez and Rosir Calderon to trim the gap at 13-16 and 16-18, but the Italians played more aggressively to win the set in 21 minutes.

The Cubans came up with big plays in the second set, with team captain Yumilka Ruiz and Nancy Carillo delivering the points as Cuba wrested the upperhand at 14-13 before Italy went to Sara Anzenello, Elisa Cella and Fiorin to tie the count at 24-all. The Italians made an error in the next play while Ramirez scored on a smash for Cuba's victory.

Italy, the runnerup last year, came back strong in the third set, taking leads of 7-4 and 14-10 before Cuba rallied behind Carillo, Ruiz and Zoila Barros to grab the lead at 20-19. Italy made three straight points for 22-20 but Cuba countered with a 5-2 run to keep the set.

Serena Ortolani, Martina Guiggi and Cella joined hands in giving Italy an 8-6 lead in the fourth set before the Cubans rallied behind Ramirez and Barros to grab the upperhand at 15-10. The Italians tried to come back, banking on Vicenzi and Cella to cut the lead by three, 15-18, but Barros sparked a rally that gave the Cubans a 22-16 advantage.

A 4-2 run capped by Carillo's smash put the Cuba within a point of winning the match, but Italy mounted a 5-2 rally behind Anzanello, Vicenzi and Nadia Centoni to put the score at 21-24. A powerful spike by Carillo sealed the victory for Cuba.

Carillo, named the tournament MVP and best scorer, led Cuba with 13 kills, four blocks and two service aces. Ramirez finished with 13 points, including 12 kills, while Ruiz had 11 points.

Fiorin led Italy with 23 points, including 21 kills, followed by Ortolani with 14 points, including 12 kills. Vicenzi had 10 points while Anzanello and Cella finished with nine and eight points, respectively.