Rolando Cepeda had 20 spikes in the Finals
coming into the bronze medal match, and had
just about doubled that total by the end
At just 18 years
old, Danger
Quintana is
actually only
the sixth-
player on
Cuba’s squad
Teodor Todorov (14) and Todor
Aleksiev (15) were, along with Viktor
Yosifov, Bulgaria’s top blockers in the
bronze medal match
July 8
25-18 19-25 23-25 25-23 15-12
Cuba take bronze from battling Bulgaria
After two 3-0 victories in the semifinals, the
bronze-medal match between hosts Bulgaria and
Cuba was a much closer encounter. But the home
fans were left despondent as the Cubans edged
a thrilling match in five sets. Cuba got big games
from Rolando Cepeda (22 points), Henry Bell (19
points) and captain Wilfredo León (17 points),
while Bulgaria were led by Vladimir Nikolov and
Todor Aleksiev, who both scored 21 points. After
getting off to a poor start – dropping the first set
25-18 –
Bulgaria roared back to take the next
two sets and give their fans hope of clinching
Bulgaria’s first ever World League bronze medal.
They levelled the scores in the fourth set at 22-22
but couldn’t hold on, allowing Cuba to take the
set and send the match into a deciding set. Cuba
secured an advantage early in the final set and
never relinquished their lead to win their first World
League medal since 2005. “We are very happy
with this victory,” León said. “It was a very difficult
and hard match for both teams. We won a medal
something we have not done in a long time. The
fighting spirit of the team really helped us to win.”