Cuba’s Samuels hopes for support from local fans
Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, June 14, 2012 – The FIVB World League visits the Dominican Republic for the first time this weekend as hosts to the competitive Pool A, where teams of Serbia, Russia and Cuba all claimed two victories during the first stage in Hamamatsu, Japan.
Japan will be looking to improve from their performance at home when they failed to pick up a victory while suffering two painful five-set losses
Cuba’s coach Orlando Samuels hopes to have the support of the local fans during the three matches here while he tries to put in the past his side’s shortcomings at the FIVB World Olympic Qualification Tournament last week in Berlin, Germany.
“We were very sad for not qualifying to the Olympics but that’s behind us now,” Samuels said, who is bringing Cuba’s complete team. “We hope to have the support of the Dominican fans.”
The four coaches took part in a press conference held on Thursday at the NORCECA Confederation headquarters with the presence of FIVB first executive vice president and NORCECA president Cristobal Marte Hoffiz as well as Renato Arena, FIVB supervisor.
Friday’s schedule features the clash between Russia and Serbia at 17:00 (EST) followed by the match of Japan versus Cuba at 19:30.
Here the excerpts of the coaches’ statements during the meeting with the local media:
Orlando Samuels (Cuba): “This is a very competitive pool but we are prepared to have a better performance than in the previous ones. We were very sad for not qualifying to the Olympics but that’s behind us now. This is another competition and we hope to have the support of the Dominican fans.
Tatsuya Ueta (Japan): “We are very happy to be here in a beautiful place with a bright sun. We have very strong rivals but our team is prepared to do our best. I hope we can win our first match and start from there.”
Vladimir Alekno (Russia): “We continue to prepare our team for the Olympic Games and some players stayed at home, but we still have a good team. We are not slowing down our rhythm and hopefully we will have a good performance.”
Igor Kilakovic (Serbia): “The tournament is good for us as we try to test some elements for the Olympic Games. We are playing against very strong teams but we are ready for it.”
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