Press release

Serbia and Spain with guaranteed tickets to final-four round

Spain's players and coaching staff celebrate the first ticket ever to the final-four round

Bahia Blanca, Argentina, August 25, 2011 – Defending champions Serbia and Spain are the first two semifinalists of the 2011 FIVB Boy’s Youth World Championship in the cities of Bahia Blanca and Almirante Brown in Argentina.

The two teams have secured at least a second place in their respective pools which guarantees the ticket to the final-four phase of the competition.

Serbia overcame Cuba 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-15) with a splendid contribution from Milan Katic and Uros Kovacevic while Spain edged France 3-2 (25-22, 25-17, 18-25, 15-25, 15-10) with Andres Villena as the top offensive star.

Bulgaria kept alive its chances with a 3-0 (25-23, 25-19, 25-21) victory over slumping Greece while Argentina defeated China 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-15, 25-19) to stay also in competition.

Friday’s action features the crucial matches of Argentina against Cuba in Pool E and Bulgaria versus France in Pool F.

In the round for the positions 9-16 taking place in Almirante Brown, the squads of Brazil, Egypt and Iran booked spots in the semifinals for the 9-12 places.

Pool E

Serbia 3, Cuba 1

Defending champions Serbia secured a spot in the medal round after defeating Cuba 3-1 (22-25, 25-19, 25-23, 25-15).  The Serbian side improved its win-loss record to 2-0 with 5 points and is at least secured of a second place in Pool E.  Cuba remained with 2 points and a 1-1 mark. Milan Katic and Uros Kovacevic recorded 24 and 22 respectively for Serbia with Katic totaling 23 attacks and Kovcevic registering seven blocks. Luka Medic contributed 15 to the winning cause. In the losing effort, Cuba’s Lazaro Fundora had a match-high 27 points while Yordan Bisset and Nelson Loyola added 13 and 11.

Argentina 3, China 1

Argentina is still in competition for the medals following the 3-1 (25-23, 19-25, 25-15, 25-19) over China on Thursday. Argentina evened its win-loss record at 1-1 with 4 points and will play an important match against Cuba on Friday. Argentina’s Gonzalo Quiroga once again was the leader in the scores with 29 points including three aces and two blocks.  He was followed by Gonzalo Lapera who had five aces among hits 18 points and Mauro Llanos with 10. China’s Zhejia Zhang finished with 15 including a match-high seven blocks and Chao Tang added 12. While China led in the blocking category 15-8 Argentina was the better team in the service department 11-4.

Pool F

Spain 3, France 2

Spain held off a spirited France in five sets (25-22, 25-17, 18-25, 15-25, 15-10) to book a spot in the semifinals. The two-point victory gives Spain a total of 5 in Pool F while France added one point and stand up with four. Andres Villena helped Spain’s victory by hammering 22 spikes and a total 26 points while Alejandro Vigil contributed 6 of the 15 blocks scored by the winners. France, which doubled its opponent in errors 40-20, had its best scorers in Trevor Clevenot, Thibault Rossard and Soane Falafala with 19, 16 and 15 points respectively.

Bulgaria 3, Greece 0

Bulgaria bounced back from the loss one day earlier to outclass Greece in straight sets (25-23, 25-19, 25-21) and maintain alive the chances of a spot in the semifinals. It was a team-effort for Bulgaria which only committed 10 errors in the match compared to 24 by Greece. Bulgaria, now with three points in Pool F, dominated also in the blocking charts 14-3. Ivan Ivanov was the best scorer of the winning side with 10 points while Krasimir Georgiev and Stanilash Velichkov charted 9 and 8 points respectively. Greece’s Georgios Tzioumakas topped all the scorers in the match with 21 points.

Pool G

Brazil 3, Puerto Rico 0

Brazil swept Puerto Rico in straight sets (25-17, 25-16, 25-18) to moved ahead in Pool G for places 9-16. The Brazilians have won the first two matches played in Almirante Brown, while Puerto Rico still has no victories. Puerto Rican Angel Pérez carried the flag for his side and ended up tied with Brazil's Jonatas Cardoso as the best scorers of the match with 11 points apiece. Brazil outclassed its opponent in serving aces with a wide 6-0 margin and also led in blocks 10-4.

Egypt 3, Tunisia 1

With a fantastic support from the crowd for both sides, Egypt saw off Tunisia in four sets (25-19, 25-22, 25-15, 28-26) to rumble on to its third win in a row and share Pool G lead with Brazil. Tunisia fought hard before dropping to 0-5 in the World Champs. Egypt's Islam Abdelkader topped the scores in the African duel with 22 points, followed closely by Tunisia's Ousama Mrika, who came from the bench to achieve 20 tallies. Mohamed Masoud from Egypt also performed well, with 18 points.

Pool H

Iran 3, Korea 1

Iran passed the test against Korea and won 3-1 (21-25, 25-17, 25-20, 25-22) to have the semifinals for ninth place on sight. The Koreans failed to earn their first victory of the World Championship, blocked out by the Iranians, who led by a wide 15-2 in the blocking department. Korea's Gyeong-Bok Na clearly won the scoring contest with 24 points, including 20 spikes, 2 blocks and 2 aces. The Iranian side was more balanced, with Javad Hosseinabadi leading with 15 kills and Milad Ebadipour and Pourya Fayazi achieving 14 points each.

United States 3, Russia 2

Another five-setter closed up the day in the fight for places 9-16. USA stepped ahead of Russia two times, but had to go into a tie-breaker to finally earn the victory (25-20, 20-25, 25-18, 22-25, 15-13). Even with the loss, Russia stands in the second place of Pool H, while USA sits on the third spot and nothing is settled yet. Matthew Tarantino finished with 22 points as the game's top scorer, while Russia had both Vladimir Manerov and Konstantin Gavrilov in good shape, charting 19 and 18 tallies.

Highest Scorer by Day

Day 1 (August 19): 29 points by Gonzalo Lapera (Argentina) in the 3-2 loss to Bulgaria
Day 2 (August 20): 32 points by Yordan Bisset (Cuba) in the 3-2 victory over Brazil
Day 3 (August 21): 30 points by Gonzalo Quiroga (Argentina) in the 3-0 victory over United States
Day 4 (August 24): 32 points by Gonzalo Quiroga (Argentina) in the 3-2 loss to Serbia
Day 5 (August 25): 27 points by Lazaro Fundora (Cuba) in the 3-1 loss to Serbia

Top Scoring Performances

32 – Yordan Bisset (Cuba) in the 3-2 victory over Brazil on August 20
32 – Gonzalo Quiroga (Argentina) in the 3-2 loss to Serbia on August 24
30 – Gonzalo Quiroga (Argentina) in the 3-0 victory over United States on August 21
29 – Gonzalo Lapera (Argentina) in the 3-2 loss to Bulgaria on August 19
29 – Uros Kovacevic (Serbia) in the 3-1 loss to Iran on August 20
29 – Gonzalo Quiroga (Argentina) in the 3-1 victory over China on August 25

Top Blocking Performances

11- Zhejia Zhang (China) in the 3-2 victory over Russia on August 21
8 – Petar Nenkov (Bulgaria) in the 3-2 victory over Argentina on August 19
7 – Matthew Tarrantino (United States) in the 3-2 victory over Egypt on August 19
7 – Jhon Wendt (France) in the 3-1 victory over Greece on August 24
7 – Uros Kovacevic (Serbia) in the 3-1 victory over Cuba on August 25
7 – Zhejia Zhang (China) in the 3-1 loss to Argentina on August 25

Top Service Ace Performances

5 – Thiago Veloso (Brazil) in the 3-2 victory over Korea on August 19
5 – Yordan Bisset (Cuba) in the 3-2 victory over Brazil on August 20
5 – Gonzalo Lapera (Argentina) in the 3-1 victory over China on August 25
4 – Na Gyeong-Bok (Korea) in the 3-2 loss to Brazil on August 19
4 – Aaron Russell (United States) in the 3-2 victory over Egypt on August 19
4 – Milad Ebadipour (Iran) in the 3-1 victory over Serbia on August 20
4 – Kasandros Stingas (Greece) in the 3-0 victory over China on August 20
4 – Yordan Bisset (Cuba) in the 3-2 victory over China on August 24

Top Set Score

36-34 (Egypt versus United States) in first round on August 19 in Almirante Brown
32-30 (Greece versus Russia) in first round on August 19 in Bahia Blanca
30-28 (Iran versus Serbia) in first round on August 20 in Bahia Blanca
29-27 (Egypt versus United States) in first round on August 19 in Almirante Brown
29-27 (Francia versus Korea) in first round on August 20 in Almirante Brown
29-27 (United States versus Bulgaria) in first round on August 20 in Almirante Brown

Top Scoring Matches

245 – United States def. Egypt 25-16, 25-21, 27-29, 34-36, 17-15 in first round on August 19 in Almirante Brown
216 – Cuba def. Brazil 21-25, 19-25, 25-21, 27-25, 15-13 in first round on August 20 in Almirante Brown
215 – China def. Tunisia 26-24, 21-25, 25-27, 25-21, 15-8 in first round on August 19 in Bahia Blanca
215 - Cuba def. Korea 24-26, 25-21, 21-25, 25-20, 15-13 in first round on August 21 in Almirante Brown
212 – Serbia def. Argentina 23-25, 25-21, 25-22, 22-25, 15-9 in second round on August 24 in Bahia Blanca





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