World League 2004 Press & News WEEK 1 (04-06 June)  
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Three teams make great starts

Lausanne, Switzerland, June 6, 2004 Ė Defending champions Brazil, eight-time champions Italy and Poland got off to excellent starts after completing the first weekend of the $13m World League with two victories.
Pic: Anderson spikes on his way to 29 points


Brazil, who as world champions and world cup title holders are favourites to win the World League title again, collected a 3-0 win over Greece on Friday before holding on for a 3-2 win on Sunday night in the return match.

"It was very important that we won the second match, as this is always more difficult than the first,Ē Brazilian coach Bernardo Rezende said. ďIt is very important that we return to Brazil with two victories and I was proved correct about what I said on Friday, that today's match would be more difficult. I was impressed at how supportive the Greek crowd was towards their team".

Meanwhile, Poland collected two excellent wins (3-1, 3-2) on the road in Japan while Italy only gave up one set in their two matches against China at home.

Ominously, Italian captain Andrea Giani said: "We are far from our playing standard. We have to do more in blocking and defense, sometimes we've got some weakness in serving, and during some rallies. We have to practice more to test different teams".

Of the other weekendís matches, which involve 12 of the best international menís Volleyball teams split into three pools, Spain and Portugal in Pool A, Bulgaria and France in Pool B and Serbia and Montenegro and Cuba in Pool C all recorded one win each. Leaving Greece, Japan and China yet to register a win.

Cubaís 3-2 win over Serbia and Montenegro, last yearís World League runnerís up, in front of 11,000 fans on Saturday in Havana was full of character after they clinched the fifth set 18-16. The home side had earlier lost the opening encounter against the 2000 Olympic champions 3-1 the day before and fought back well to split the two matches.

The 2004 World League continues next weekend with 12 more games featuring two more games for each side.

 

PREVIEW
Counting down to top FIVB Men's Tournament
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 02, 2004 - Twelve of the best international men's Volleyball teams are preparing for the start of the 2004 World League, the FIVB's premier international men's Volleyball tournament, on Friday in six different venues around the world. More
Pic: Brazil beat Serbia & Montenegro in last year's final 3-2 (25-16, 21-25, 19-25, 25-23, 31-29)