FIVB - Volleyball World League

Press release

Russia’s coach: “Cuba will be better tomorrow”

Russia coach Andrey Voronkov praised Cuba's physical strength

 Russia coach Andrey Voronkov admitted he was impressed by Cuba's physical strength and he expects them to prove to their fans that they can be better: “Tomorrow, they will play better and we must double our efforts to win. In spite of their lack of experience, they have potential. Rolando Cepeda especially has all the tools to become a leader.”

The match’s top scorer, Nikolay Pavlov, acknowledged that the Cubans were tough rivals: “They forced us to play at our best. I loved Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum; it is so full of passion and the crowd never stopped supporting their team no matter what the score was. I’m still suffering some jet lag, but I enjoyed the challenge.”  

With captain Lian Sem Estrada benched, Yordan Bisset took over as the Cuban leader. With 14 points and three aces, Bisset thinks his team is getting better and better: “You can see the improvement since our last match against Germany. I believe blocking is still our main weakness. We are a young team and need more coordination on court.”

Cuba coach Orlando Samuels regretted once again his players’ lack of international experience: “We need more games, more tournaments. I am not sure about our future because we have lost so many talented players recently. But I must admit today we played better. We tried Abraham Alfonso and it worked. I think we have lost some sets because our team lacks maturity, but that’s something only time can heal.”

Cuba’s Rolando Cepeda is optimistic: “Yes, we lost again, but we can see the improvement in every match. I’m getting better in reception and I feel more confident in attack. Our team showed today a whole different attitude than against Italy or Germany. Russia is a great team and maybe tomorrow we can snatch a victory. We are very positive and next week we will face Iran thinking only about winning for the fans and for ourselves.”

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