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World League 2004 - Press Info

Match Descriptive

Serbia & Montenegro beat Cuba 3-1 (25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 31-29) - duration 2:00
04-Jun, start time: 20:40, end time: 22:40 - Attendance: 12'500
City: Habana; Hall : Ciudad Deportiva Coliseum
Serbia and Montenegro achieves first win in 2004 World League
Havana.- Serbia and Montenego achieved its first win in the 2004 World Volleyball after beating Cuba 3-1 (25-21, 25-17, 23-25, 31-29) in two hours Friday night at Havana's Ciudad Deportiva Hall.
The 2000 Sydney Olympic champions up showed a better attack and block to hold off the challenge of the emerging Cuban squad, who won the third set and forced the Balkans to play up to 31 points to obtain the victory.
In the opening set, the 2003 World league silver medalists started with an early 4-0 lead and took advantage of their rivals' weaknesses in defense and serve to maintain a comfortable lead. Cubans reacted late and could not help a 21-24 score.
The same situation happened in the second set when the Balkan were again led by tall players like Goran Maric and Milan Markovic. With an easier 25-18 win, the Europeans were ready for a 3-0 debut.
However, things changed in the following set as the host team showed their potential with a 8-2 early lead. Serbia and Montenegro reacted and tied the score 11-11. They exchanged the lead up to 21st point and then Yasser Portuondo and Raydel Poey, supported by a more efficient block, enabled the local team to hold a narrow advantage and they went to win 25-23.
Cubans started very inspired, ready to tie the score and started 2-0 ahead in the fourth set. The score remained even until Milan Markovic helped Serbia and Montenegro to reach a favorable 23-20. Cubans, led by Yenry bell, managed to tie the score again 23-23 and it remained that way until the 29th point. Goran Maric displayed a strong serve when it mattered to seal the 31-29 set and match victories.
Bell led the Cuban attack with 20 points, followed by Raidel Poey (17). Vladimir Grbic and Goran Maric lead the Balkans with 14 points each, two more than Goran Vujevic.
Both teams will clash again Saturday night at Ciudad Deportiva Hall in Havana.