Pool D started a week behind the other three
groups and Portugal probably would have liked
to have started even later as they lost all three
of their matches 3-0 in Frankfurt. “We are here
to learn from the other teams,” coach Flavio
Gulinelli had admitted before the tournament
began. Well, his team received some good
lessons. After a close first set (25-23) against
hosts Germany, they faded in the other two sets
and it was a similar story against Bulgaria, who
took the first set 25-22 before dominating in the
other two sets. Against Argentina, who Portugal
hadn’t beaten for 10 years, it was somewhat
closer – 28-26, 25-20, 25-21 – but the result was
still the same.
We have an inexperienced team but we were
close to winning a set, which was our goal today,”
Gulinelli said. “I cannot say that I’m satisfied, but
our aim is to improve from day to day and we got
better here in Frankfurt from day to day.”
Apart from Portugal, it was a very close group,
with Germany, Argentina and Bulgaria all
finishing the weekend with 2-1 records and six
points apiece. Bulgaria’s 3-1 victory over Germany
in the final match on the Sunday was the only
contest that didn’t end 3-0.
There are again so many Bulgarian fans, we
wanted to give this victory to them,” elated
Bulgaria captain Vladimir Nikolov said. “Of
MAY 25-27
between top
three after first
week of play
Todor Aleksiev, the Finals’
top scorer, began the
Intercontinental Round
with a modest nine
points against Argentina
Facundo Conte led Argentina with
points in Frankfurt
Tiago Violas was the sixth-best setter
of the Intercontinental Round
György Grozer’s 13 points against
Argentina included a match-high
three aces – he was the fourth-best
server of the Intercontinental Round