This Saturday, Cuba will face Italy, one of the strongest teams in the Volleyball World Championship, which went through the elimination phase after beating three of its rivals with ease as it had only one complicated set, the third one against Canada. Won 39-37.
The decision to pass the quarter-finals between 16 graded teams over four days of competition is an all-or-nothing struggle. The second match on that date will be the host team against Germany in Slovenia. On the 4th, it will be the United States-Turkey and Poland (champions in 2014 and 2018) against Tunisia in the land of world leaders.
To give an idea of Italy, let’s say they finished fourth in the 2022 League of Nations behind France (Tokyo 2020 Monarch), the United States and Poland. Fifth were Japan and sixth were Brazil, two rivals to Cuba in the preliminary stages of this World Cup, where the number of tournament-starting groups has already been cut to 24.
In the past the Bambino were fierce rivals of Cuba, who are in the now defunct World League. During the 90s of the last century – when Havana Sports City was packed to watch them play – we remember it as the glorious time when the Antilleans won the gold of the event in the 1998 final held in Russia was. Today, many of our outstanding boys are successful in the Italian League, an event that has contributed to their qualitative development, a practice that should be enhanced.
The Italian peninsula’s current list has four men who make up the difference within the team. All their challenges ended 3-0. Against Canada, assists Daniil Lavia (18 points), Alessandro Micheletto (11), Yuri Romano (13) and middle blocker Gianluca Galassi (11) contrasted. Against Turkey: Lavia (14), Romano (13) and Micheletto (12). Against China: Lavia (14), Micheletto (13) and Romano (10).
The court action is supported by a small number of unforced errors, 13 of which resulted in their victory at the cost of a low-level Chinese team, to the point of not passing the losers of 14 goals in each set. . Nevertheless, it is a notable success for those ranked sixth in Tokyo-2020, and fifth in the world rankings (342 points), led by Poland (394), a list in which Cuba ranks 13th. which is supported by (222).
As far as the Cubans are concerned, they have two days to adjust. They already had to maintain a stable regular formation, which would give the opportunity for some changes. Another difficulty in the task of passers-by is that – in order to achieve a better result – the balls must be more comfortably distributed, as was not the case with Japan, where opposite Jesus Ortiz and central defender Robertlandi Simon took all responsibility. that it should be shared with the assistant, who did not respond. A strong low serve is effective, but more opportunities should enter the field, as Italy will not forgive mistakes.
(taken from Granma)