FIVB - Volleyball World Grand Prix

Press release

World Grand Prix Pool N coaches expect close contest

Pool N coaches Guillermo Orduna (Argentina), Juan Carlos Gala Rodríguez (Cuba), Natalia Málaga (Peru) and Arnd Ludwig (Canada) gathered ahead of a World Grand Prix landmark in Argentina

Buenos Aires, Argentina, August 8, 2014 - Buenos Aires is ready to host the first ever FIVB World Grand Prix weekend on Argentinean soil. The four Pool N coaches for Argentina, Canada, Cuba and Peru looked ahead to a difficult last weekend of Intercontinental Round matches.

After a successful experience as one of the three FIVB World League venues in Argentina, the Microestadio in Lomas de Zamora will now play host to the world’s most important annual women’s volleyball competition, in a historical moment for the South American country. Local fans are eager to cheer for their “Panteras”, the Argentinean Women’s Team, playing at the top international level.

On Thursday evening, right after the General Technical Meeting held at the teams’ hotel, Argentina coach Guillermo Orduna commented that he is expecting a very close contest. “We want to prove in front of our crowd that we are a combative team, always aiming to stand among the best teams in the world. I’m sure the girls will give their maximum on court," he added.

For Peru, this will be the key weekend, as the team hope to qualify for the Group 2 Final Four in Koszalin, Poland. They need to collect at least six points on Argentinean soil and hope Belgium are not successful this weekend. However, for coach Natalia Málaga, it’s all about development: “Our team has little experience, we are a young group, so this is very good for our international development. To face stronger teams, which are more mature than us, gives us great experience. We are learning a lot”.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Arnd Ludwig is also looking for his side to play better and better. “Our first weekend was not a very good one, we made good progress in the second and we want to keep improving in these upcoming matches. This is a very close pool and I think it’s going to be decided in the small moments," the German coach stressed. 

Cuba are the only winless team in Group 2 and begin the weekend as the bottom team in the standings. To get that first win might be a goal for the Cubans, but coach Juan Carlos Gala Rodríguez went further: “To be in an international event as important as this one is very important for us. It’s the best way to develop our young athletes. Our girls have grown, so this is a good moment to show how much we have learnt in the past weeks”.

On Friday, Cuba and Canada are scheduled to open the action in Lomas de Zamora at 17.30 local time, in the first ever FIVB World Grand Prix match in Argentina. The home favourites “Las Panteras” will take on Peru in a terrific South American duel at 20.30 local time.

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