Friday, 14 May 2021
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 Match info | Press Conference
Bagnoli: Lucky breaks early helped us win

Russia coach Daniele Bagnoli (left) and captain Alexey Kazakov at Saturday's news conference

Russia Coach Daniele Bagnoli: "For me, the most pleasure I got from today's game was how the substitutes and players from the bench immediately produced good situations for the team. That is one point of strength for this team, but we must still practice and do it. This was our first match, so it was a big question mark for us. When you try to win with more players, it's good for the team. I didn't expect that some of Japan's team wouldn't play. Some of their players weren't even on the bench. I think we had some lucky breaks in the first part of the match that helped us win the first and second sets. That was very, very important. There was some confused play at the beginning. In the third set, the play was going up and down every few minutes, but it was easier for us to play when we were four or five points ahead. Today was a very important result."

Russia Captain Alexey Kazakov: "Japan played better than we expected and they had two or three players who were very good. I think Shimizu is a good player. I think Japan will get better during this World League. Tomorrow, we will change some players around."

Japan Captain Daisuke Usami: "The start of the match was OK; everyone was playing with spirit, but the match went up and down and we made many mistakes, especially on receiving. And these mistakes affected us a lot during the match. I also made setting errors and this contributed to our loss. In the third set, we lost heart and didn't fight. We'll have to study today's result and tomorrow bring our fighting spirit to beat Russia. We should keep trying to the end of the game."

Kunihiro Shimizu: In the first and second set, we had good balance, but then I made mistakes, so tomorrow I'll have to learn from those mistakes. They had a negative influence on the team today. I had some good spikes, but at the end of the second set, Russia made many blocks, which affected the team's mood, so I'll have to avoid that tomorrow."

Japan Coach Tatsuya Ueta: "Before this game, one of the tasks we practiced was working on our new spikers. We had three new spikers and our setter was meant to provide them with roughly 30 percent of their chances each. But it didn't go well because the setter didn't pass to the players equally. As a result, Shimizu got more chances than the others. Today's spiking success rate was only 38 percent, which is lower than usual and that's why we lost.
Tomorrow, we need to pay attention to our stamina and keep going to the end of the match.
(Re: spikers Shimizu and Fukuzawa) Both are still too young. They had a lot of kills, but also made a lot of mistakes and were blocked, which meant we ended up handing points to our opponents.
Our main goal is to go to the London Olympics and to do that we have to keep our mistakes at zero. We shouldn't lose sight of our goal. It doesn't matter if our opponent is Italy or Russia, we have to keep going to the end.
Today, we realized that the third-ranked team in the world is very strong, but we learned a lot from this game.
(Re: receiving) For four years, Kitajima was our main receiver, but he's injured so we used Yoneyama. But he wasn't good today, so it was my mistake to use him."


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