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  2008 World League
 CUB / Cuba - Team Composition
Team manager Diago Izquierdo, Raul
Head coach Samuels Blackwood, Orlando
Assistant coach Valdez Pedro, Idalberto
Doctor Torrez Quiñonez, Oscar
Therapist / trainer Aladro Cantero, Yoan
Journalist Alberto Gonzalez, Carlos
  No. Name Lastname Shirt Name Birthdate Height Weight Spike Block Club
1 Wilfredo Leon Venero Leon 31.07.1993 202 96 350 346 Sir Safety Perugia
2   Lian Sem Estrada Jova Estrada 12.12.1982 196 83 339 335 Santiago de Cuba
L 3 Gustavo Leyva Alvarez Leyva 14.12.1985 180 75 305 300 Ciudad Habana
4   Yoandy Leal Hidalgo Leal 31.08.1988 202 107 361 348 Cucine Lube Civitanova
5 Miguel Angel Dalmau Dalmau 21.09.1984 197 83 353 330 Villa Clara
L 6   Keibel Gutierrez Torna Gutierrez 06.05.1987 178 80 305 295 Villa Clara
7 Osmany Roberto Camejo Durruthy Camejo 18.02.1983 202 90 350 330 Ciudad Habana
8   Rodriguez Pedro Ruiz Ruiz 13.11.1985 200 84 350 335 Villa Clara
9 Rolando Cepeda Abreu Cepeda 13.03.1989 198 77 359 344 S.Spiritus
10   Rolando Jurquin Despaigne Jurquin 07.06.1987 201 95 341 328 Santiago De Cuba
11 Yadier Sanchez Sierra Sanchez 08.01.1987 200 83 335 335 Sada Cruzeiro Volei
12   Yenry Bell Cisnero Bell 27.07.1981 188 84 358 328 Santiago de Cuba
C 13 Robertlandy Simon Aties Simón 11.06.1987 208 114 358 326 Cucine Lube Civitanova
14   Raydel Hierrezuelo Aguirre Hierrezuelo 14.07.1987 196 87 340 335 Ciudad Habana
15 Oreol Camejo Durruthy Camejo D. 22.07.1986 207 94 354 326 LOKOMOTIV NOVOSIBIRSK
16   Raydel Corrales Pouto Corrales 15.02.1982 201 94 355 325 Cienfuegos
17 Odelvis Dominico Speck Dominico 06.05.1977 205 87 360 356 Ciudad Habana
18   Darien Ferrer Delis Ferrer 31.10.1983 204 84 362 346 Santiago de Cuba
19 Pedro Lopez Fernandez Lopez 10.10.1986 198 84 340 325 Santi Spiritu
 C=Captain  L=Libero
Team Profile   Coach Profile

The Cuban Men's National Team faced the great challenge of taking part in the World Olympic Qualification Tournament in Düsseldorf, Germany, against hosts Germany, Chinese Taipei and Spain, while trying to save something for the FIVB World League.

For the two competitions, Cuba brought together a young team but one with experience and the desire to play at international level.

Roberlandy Simón Aties, Rolando Jurquin Despaigne, Odelvys Dominico Speek, Henry Bell Cisneros, Oreol Camejo Duruthy, Raydel Hierrezuelo Aguirre, Keibel Gutiérrez Restitution, Yadier Sánchez Sierra, David de la Torre Morrell are the players directed by experienced Head Coach Orlando Samuels Blackwood.

After the retirement of Pavel Pimienta and Tomas Aldazabal, the Cuban team especially rely on the experience of middle blockers Simón Aties and Dominico Speek.

Cuba have had a busy 2008 up to now. Portugal played host to them in five friendly matches before the Men's World Olympic Qualification Tournaments.

In the four-team tournament in Düsseldorf, Cuba played Spain, Chinese Taipei and Germany through May 23-25.

In preparation for the World Olympic Qualification Tournament and the World League, the Cubans trained at high altitude in Guatemala before flying back to the island to participate in the Fourth Cuban Sport Olympiad, where they played the National Teams of Venezuela and Trinidad & Tobago and the Cuban Junior Team.

Cuba's Men will be hoping to go some way of improving on the 15th-place finish at the 2006 FIVB World Championships in Japan, which was a huge come down after the high of finishing third in the 2005 World League.

That third place was reminiscent of the time when Cuba were regularly finishing among the medals. The late 1980s and throughout the 1990s was a particularly rich time for them.  They claimed World Cup gold in 1989 to add to their silver in 1981 and bronze in 1977. They then added two silvers in the competition in 1991 and 1999.

In the World League, Cuba claimed gold in 1998, silver in 1991, 1992, 1994, 1997 and 1999 and bronze in 2005.

The Cubans finished second in the World Championships in Rio de Janeiro in 1990 and claimed two bronzes in 1978 and 1998.

They also have a lone Olympic medal, claiming bronze at the 1976 Montreal Games.


Orlando Samuels Blackwood has from last year been driving the Cuban National Team and changes are already being noticed. The Head Coach has been imposing discipline and training the players at the highest level every day to make sure they are well-prepared to achieve good results in the tournaments Cuba will take part in this year.

Samuels Blackwood was born in the county of Camagüey on December 31, 1946. He is considered one of the best trainers in Cuba and has also directed teams from other countries with impressive results.