Bursa all set to host Group 3 World League Finals this weekend
Bursa, Turkey, June 26, 2014 – In just two days Turkey, Cuba, China and Slovakia will begin their bid for the gold medal at the Group 3 Finals of the 2014 FIVB World League. Turkey’s city of Bursa is currently putting in place the final preparations for the Finals scheduled to take place on June 28 and 29, 2014.
The first semifinals on Saturday will see Cuba take on China at 14:00 local time, while hosts Turkey will play Slovakia at 17:00. The finals will be held on Sunday at 17:00 and will be preceded by the match for third place at 14:00 local time.
The competition will be held at the Bursa Cengiz Gollu Volleyball Hall, a first-class sporting venue, which bears the name of the former head coach of Turkey’s women’s national team.
This is not the first time that volleyball
fever has hit the nation or the city of Bursa.
The four participating teams have arrived at the competition site and conducted their first training sessions on Thursday.
Turkey and Cuba enter the final phase of Group 3 matches as the host country and the winner of Pool F, respectively. In Pool G, China qualified for the Final Four as the winner of the Pool, while Slovakia booked their slot as the second best team overall in the Group.
Cuba led Pool F with a win-loss ratio of 5-1 followed by organisers Turkey with 4-2 record. China led Pool F with 5-1 ratio followed by Slovakia who had 3-3 record to join the Finals.
"We are trying our best to overcome the time difference and defeat the Cuban team in the semifinal as we don't know much about that team," said China coach Guochen Xie after his first training session in Bursa.
"We are well prepared now and our goal is to win the gold medal here. We are not familiar with the Cuban team as we didn't face them for a long time. We want to see their weak points to beat them," he added.
Slovakia coach Flavio Gulinelli expressed
his pride at having qualified for the Finals and was optimistic that Slovakia
would continue showing its good form.
Cuba are currently ranked seventh in the world. China ranked 18th did not participate in last year’s 18-team event.
The second semifinal will see Slovakia – who are ranked 36th overall and are first timers in the FIVB’s premier annual competition for national teams – take on Turkey. The Group 3 Final Four hosts – who have also participated in the tournament for the first time and are the lowest ranked team playing in this year's World League (No 45) – hope that the support of the home crowd in Bursa will carry them to victory.