Cuban Sanchez Bozhulev returns to make his mark with Bolivar
After surgery on his hand and with only two weeks of training, Cuban Michael Sanchez Bozhulev took over jersey No. 9 in the Personal Bolivar team and quickly left his mark, leading Argentine club Bolivar to the Presudamericano title after a six-year hiatus.
Bolivar overcame Lomas 3-2 (22-25, 25-18, 26-24, 25-27, 15-8) in the final and Sanchez Bozhulev was the man of the match.
Not surprisingly, Sanchez Bozhulev surprised himself.
“I didn’t expect this,” he admitted. “I was unsure if my condition would allow me to play at this level and I have really surprised myself. I didn’t play for almost two months but trained well in the last week and that gave me more confidence. I also owe it to my colleagues, who were very good and supported me.”
After a memorable performance in the final with 34 points, Sanchez Bozhulev appreciated the affection he received from the 3,000 spectators. “I did not know what to expect,” he said. “I didn’t know how the people would react to my game and I didn’t know if things would go my way because of the limited time I had to train after the operation.”
One of the major goals for Bolivar in the season, in addition to the league, was to get back into continental competition, something that had eluded them recently. With the mission accomplished, the 29-year-old opposite said his team was aiming for the title at the February 15-21 tournament in Brazil.
“Initially we wanted to be classified here in this very difficult tournament against good opponents,” he said. “Now that we're in the South American Championship, we’re aiming to reach the final and fight for the ticket to the Club World Championship.”