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Luburic leads Serbia to victory over Cameroon, Italy fight off Australia

 
Serbia’s Drazen Luburic in action against Cameroon
Bari, Italy, August 10, 2019 – Serbia and hosts Italy remained undefeated after the second competition day in Pool C of Tokyo Volleyball Qualification and are set to face each other in Sunday’s showdown, with the pool’s single available Olympic ticket at stake. While the Serbs cruised to a 3-0 (25-22, 25-19, 25-13) victory over Cameroon in Saturday’s first match in Bari, with Drazen Luburic contributing 14 points, in the second, the home team had to fight off Australia in a double comeback from a set down on the way to a dramatic 3-2 (21-25, 25-19, 24-26, 25-17, 15-13) win. Lincoln Alexander Williams made 27 points for the Volleyroos, while Osmany Juantorena top-scored 22 for Italy.

Pre-match stats:

Serbia - Cameroon (August 10, 2019) 
Head-to-Head
• Serbia (incl. predecessors) and Cameroon meet for the first time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Serbia (incl. predecessors) won both of their meetings with Cameroon at major world level (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• Serbia won 3-1 at the 2014 World Championship and 3-0 at the 2018 World Championship.
• Serbia (incl. predecessors) never lost against a CAVB side at major world level: W16-L0.

Serbia
• Serbia beat Australia 3-1 in their opening qualifying match on Friday.
• Serbia (NOC) participated in the Olympic Games in 2008 (5th place) and 2012 (9th). Serbia and Montenegro competed in 2004 (5th), Yugoslavia in 1980 (6th) and Yugoslavia (1992-2003) in 1996 (3rd) and 2000 (1st).
• Aleksandar Atanasijevic scored 35 points for Serbia against Australia, compared to 43 total points for all other Serbian players combined.
• Aleksandar Atanasijevic had eight serve winners on Friday, twice as many as the whole Australian team combined.

Cameroon
• Cameroon lost their first Tokyo 2020 qualifier 3-0 against Italy on Friday.
• Cameroon still have a slight chance to become the fifth African NOC to reach the Olympic Games, after Tunisia (6 times), Egypt (4, excluding 1976 boycott), Algeria (1) and Libya (1).
• Christian Arthur Voukeng Mbativou (9 points) was Cameroon's leading points scorer versus Italy in Bari.

Australia - Italy (August 10, 2019) 
Head-to-Head
• Australia and Italy meet for the second time in the last seven world Olympic qualifying campaigns (1996-2020).
• Italy defeated Australia in straight sets in the 2008 tournament in Tokyo. Italy earned an Olympic ticket that tournament.
• Italy won 17 of their 19 major world level matches against Australia (Olympic Games, World Championship, World Cup, World League, Nations League, Grand Champions Cup).
• Australia defeated Italy 3-0 in the 2015 World League and 3-1 in the 2018 Volleyball Nations League.
• The most recent occasion these nations met at world level came in the 2019 VNL, where Italy won 3-1.
• Australia and Italy met three times at the Olympic Games. Italy won 3-1 in the 2000 quarter-finals, 3-0 in the 2004 group stage and 3-2 in the 2012 group stage.

Australia
• Australia scored 96 points against Serbia on Friday, but lost their opener 3-1.
• Australia could still qualify for the Olympic Games for the fourth time, after 2000 (8th place), 2004 (11th) and 2012 (9th).
• Luke Smith and Paul Carroll (both 17) were Australia's joint-leading points scorers versus Serbia.
• Trent O'Dea (5) had the most stuff blocks won in the match between Serbia and Australia, while Paul Carroll led his team with three serve winners.

Italy
• In front of a home crowd in Bari, Italy beat Cameroon in straight sets on Friday.
• Italy participated 11 times in the Olympic Games, all in the last 11 editions (1976-2016). They collected six Olympic medals in the men's tournament: silver in 1996, 2004 and 2016, bronze in 1984, 2000 and 2012.
• Italy's six Olympic medals are a joint-record alongside Brazil and Soviet Union.
• Osmany Juantorena (13), Ivan Zaytsev (12) and Filippo Lanza (12) scored the most points for Italy against Cameroon.
• Matteo Piano made three of Italy's four stuff blocks won versus Cameroon in Bari, Ivan Zaytsev the other.

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