Friday, 14 May 2021
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 Match info | Press Conference
Cuban captain: Japan are tough opponents

Cuba captain Roberlandy Simon (left) and his coach Orlando Samuels after Saturday's game against Japan.
Cuba Captain Roberlandy Simon: "It was a very great game today and we were happy to earn the win, but we need to win again to raise our ranking in the World League and go to the finals. I played hard today, but I think the team as a whole needs to raise its level in certain aspects of the game. Japan was a tough opponent. They are really quick and good at defense. We have height, but not speed. I think with a bit more effort Japan could become a strong team."

Cuba Coach Orlando Samuels: "Today's game was not so good. Japan did well but made too many errors, especially service errors. For us, our receiving was not so good.

I told my players to block together and put pressure on Japan's receiving.

Tomorrow, we must improve our serving and receiving and look to put pressure on Japan.

(Re. setter Raydel Hierrezuelo) He's had an injured ankle and was in poor condition, but now he is getting better so he was able to play today.

(Re merits of setter Hierrezuelo vs. Yoandri Diaz) - Hierrezuelo can also attack and that can confuse Japan's blocking. Diaz is also a good blocker and good in defense."

Japan Coach Tatsuya Ueta: "This is our third match in Pool C and we have now played against all the other teams in the group, and I feel that compared to the other pools, Pool C is much tougher.

Today, we tried to use blockers down the middle, but it didn't always work. Also, Fukuzawa made reception errors at important points.

We have to have a meeting about today's game.

(Re. Poor performance at the end of sets) At the end of each set, we seem to have a problem with our mentality. Yoneyama made serving mistakes at important points and I think that is down to a problem of mentality.

(How to resolve issues before tomorrow) The players have to communicate more with each other. Today's result was all down to lack of communication.

And we have to be stronger mentally – who spikes, who digs."

Japan captain Daisuke Usami: "Today, Cuba played as we had expected from our data. During the game, the Japan bench were giving us advice, but we couldn't carry it out, so we have to think this and about our mistakes.

If we had done what they asked of us, we might have won, so we really have to concentrate on this.

Compared to our win over Bulgaria, the team today did not play together well. It's important that we are all on the same page and operating in the same direction."

Japan No. 13, Kunihiro Shimizu: "Cuba spiked a lot down the center and we weren't able to deal with them, either through digging or blocking. Tomorrow, when we spike we have to be aware of where the gap in their defense is."


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