Gwangju, Korea, June 18, 2011 – Cuba won a crucial Pool D match in the fourth week of the 2011 FIVB World League, downing Korea 3-0 (25-20, 25-22, 25-20) in Gwangju.
Before the match, Korea was second in the standings with Cuba a close third. With the win, Cuba has now leap-frogged over Korea into second place, 12 points to 10. Italy tops the standings with 16 points.
Wilfredo Leon and Henry Bell were joint top scorers for Cuba with 16 points each, while Shin Yung-Suk led Korea with 14 points. Cuba out-blocked Korea 14-5.
At the beginning of the first set, the pressure to win seemed to get to both teams and there were a number of unforced errors on both sides of the net. Cuba’s height advantage proved to be the key factor as they started to find gaps in the Korean defence and blocked effectively.
In the second set, Cuba’s blocking stifled Korea’s top attacker, Jeon Kwang-In, but led by some inspirational play by libero Yeo Oh-Hyun, Korea fought back and took the initiative away from Cuba. But as Korea looked to be getting their game together, Cuba’s Wilfredo Leon found his range and helped Cuba take the set by a three-point margin.
Things stayed pretty close until about halfway through the third set, but Leon again took charge and Cuba regained control, sealing the set by a five-point margin.