Teams warm up for FIVB World League
Lausanne, Switzerland, May 19, 2013 - With less than two weeks before the start of the FIVB World League Tournament on May 31, teams are warming up with preparation matches and training events.
On Sunday, the Canadian men's national team finished a three-match exhibition series against Turkey, 2-1. During the series, coach Glen Hoag provided court time to most of his players, as he evaluates for the World League. Canada will play the Netherlands on May 31 to June 1 in Quebec City in the first weekend of the World League, then travel to Ontario, Canada for matches June 7-8 against Portugal and June 14-15 against South Korea.
The Portugal men's national team will take another method to prepare for the World League, by taking part in a training camp in Bulgaria from May 22 to May 29. The team will then travel to Finland to play their first match of the World League against host country Argentina. Click here for more information on Portugal's training.
Serbia and Bulgaria chose to warm up by facing each other in two friendly matches in Belgrade over the weekend of May 18-19. The hosts and reigning European Champions won both encounters at the Šumice Hall of Sports in the Serbian capital. In the first match, in front of 400 spectators, Serbia edged Bulgaria by 3-1 (25-22, 17-25, 25-23, 32-30).
The second fixture, played behind closed doors, was closer, with the Serbs winning 3-2 (33-35, 25-17, 25-20, 18-25, 15-10). Serbia travel to Poland next for more friendly warm-up matches against the World League title holders. The two sides meet in Milicz on May 24 and Twardogora on May 25.
Meanwhile, USA will prepare at home with a friendly match on May 25. In their first match of the World League, USA will play Argentina on June 7-8. Russia will likewise play a friendly match at home against world champions Brazil before facing Iran on June 7-8 in Kaliningrad, Russia.
Brazil will be infusing new blood in their lineup as younger players have participated in the regular training of the team, while the experienced crew of Bruno Rezende, Leandro Vissotto, Dante Amaral and Lucas Saatkamp will reinforce the team’s preparations for the World League.
The German team arranged early friendly matches against Slovenia, which they have successfully played. The last serious test before they start with their World League campaign is the match against France in Ludwigsburg, Germany on May 24.
France will then fly to Cuneo on May 31 for another friendly match to start off Italy’s pre-season program. Another match will be played in Piacenza the following day, June 1, during the second edition of “Bovo Day” – a special day to honour former Italian national team player Vigor Bovolenta’s legacy of friendship, love and brotherhood.
Iran are intensely working on their technical and tactical trainings under coach Julio Velasco, which have positively lifted their expectations and motivation. Iran will leave on May 28 to compete in three friendly matches against Bulgaria in Sofia.
The Netherlands’ two friendly games against Belgium are part of their preparation for the World Championship qualifier in Croatia and the World League. The Netherlands took the first game in straight sets (25-20, 31-29, 25-17) but lost the second match against Belgium 3-1 (27-25, 16-25, 25-20, 25-19).
Argentina start the new cycle with Javier Weber’s thorough selection of players and with the addition of Marcos Milinkovic in the coaching staff. Milinkovic is one of the best and well-known players Argentina has produced. While other players are finalizing their commitments with their respective club teams and will join training shortly, 17 players have already started training since May 6. Once completed, Weber will include a week of intense training for the team in Mar del Plata, which will also host the World League finals from July 17-21.
Japan will attend a training camp prior to the World League tournament, at their National Training Center in Akabane, Tokyo from May 21-29. In the opening weekend of the World League, Japan will take on archrivals Korea in Hwasung, on June 1.
Japan are in Pool C for the FIVB World League Intercontinental Round, which also features Canada, Korea, Finland, the Netherlands and Portugal.
Pool B consists of Russia, Italy, Cuba, Serbia Germany and Iran.
Pool A includes Brazil, Poland, USA, Bulgaria, Argentina and France.
A total of six pool C matches will take place on the opening weekend of May 31 to June 1.
The Final Round of the World League will be held in Mar del Plata, Argentina from July 17-21 and will comprise six teams: the host country, the top two ranked teams from Pool A and Pool B and also the top ranked team of Pool C.
Click here for more information on the World League.