Cuba celebrate their first victory on World Championships 2014
Katowice, Poland, September 5, 2014- After many twists and score changes displayed on Friday afternoon in Katowice, Cuba won their first match at World Championships, overcoming Korea Republic 3-1 (25-21, 23-25, 14-25, 25-22 ) and changing their win-loss ratio to 1-2, same like Korea who have the same ratio.
After their three games in pool B, Korea stays with one victory. they lost against Cuba who played well in block (15 in the match with kill blocks) and focusing on good reception were the main clues of their victory.
• Santiago Uriarte led Cuba's scorers (17 points), while Chul-Woo Park was the top scorer in Korea team with 14 points.
• Cuba scored 15 points by block against four effective blocks made by Korea.
• Cuba have won their last ten World Championship matches against Asian teams, since losing against Korea DPR in 1970.
• In 42 matches between Cuba and Korea Republic at World Championships, World Cups, World Leagues and Olympic Games combined, Korea Republic grabbed only one victory (2011 World League, 3-0). Cuba took 123 sets in all of these matches against the 22 of Korea Republic.
• Korea have won only one of their last five World Championship matches (3-1 against Tunisia here).
The beginning of the first was very even with huge spikes from both sides of the court. At 6-6, Seung-Suk Kwan presented an ace what was followed by Cuba’s fine attack. Shortly after that, Korea forced high Cuba’s triple block, what pushed them to the leading 8-7 at the first technical timeout. Three Cuba’s mistakes helped Korea with running up 15-12 ahead and forced Rodolfo Sanchez to call a timeout. However, this short break didn’t help his players with regaining the power and it was Korea who led at the second technical timeout. After two Korea’s spike errors and a great spike by Rodriguez Livan Osoria, Cuba not only caught up, but run 20-18 ahead. Myung-Geun Song helped Cuba to finish the set 25-21 with his service error.
It was Cuba who took a clear lead in the second set. Being ahead 8-4 at the first technical timeout, Cuba continued their efforts to make their leading higher. With well playing Emilio Chapman, Santiago Uriarte and David Fiel, they could easily control the game and put bigger pressure on Korea team. Yung-Suk Shin reduced Cuba’s leading to one point by playing an ace and well organised defence helped Korea with setting fine spikes what pushed them 23-22 ahead. Balanced ending of the second set was finished 25-23 with Cuba’s out attack.
It was Korea, who came into the game more confidently, leading 3-1. Nevertheless, after an aggressive serve and a huge spike of Santiago Uriarte, Cuba went 6-4 ahead. This leading didn’t last long and after a spike by Min-Ho Choi and ace served by Min-Gyu Lee, Korea was 8-6 ahead during the first technical timeout. It didn't weaken Cuba, who regained the leading (13-11) after an ace by Rolando Cepeda. Being pushed forward by David Fiel, Abrahan Alfonso and Emilio Chapman, Cuba led 16-11 at the second technical timeout and at 19-12 forced Korea’s coach to ask for a break. However, this short rest didn't help his team and Cuba won the third set 25-14.
Playing balanced game, both teams couldn't have managed with taking a comfortable leading at the beginning of the fourth set . Due to fine-played dig and effective spikes, Korea gained three points of advance (9-6). Cuba tried hard to catch up and playing a triple block by Alfonso, Mesa and Macias, they reduced Korea’s leading to 2 points. With Santiago Uriarte spike, Cuba caught up at 17-17, going forward with 23-21 and held the leading till the end of the match, winning the fourth set 25-22.