Pool B starts WCH in Katowice. Finland beats Cuba after amazing 5-set match. Other games for favourites – Brazil and Korea.



Finland – Cuba 3-2 (18-25 21-25 27-25 25-23 15-12)
Finland: Esko, Kunnari (15), Shumov (10), Sivula (2), Siltala (4), Lehtonen (11), Kerminen (L) and Tervaportti (7), Ojansivu (23), Mi. Oivanen (2)
Cuba: Macias (2), Uriarte (19), Fiel (9), Cepeda (17), Jimenez (21), Mesa (6), Gutierrez (L) and Osoria, Alfonso, Romero, Chapman (2), Calvo

It was the second game in match order, but for me it was the most interseting in pool B yesterday. Having seen Cuban team after so many escapes throughout World League 2014 I was so surprised seeing them playing like that! Strong spikes and such focus on game with little amount of errors gave them unexpected lead 2-0 as a result.

Cuban team was led by their most experienced players: opposite Rolando Cepeda and libero Keibel Gutierrez. They’re the only players who didn’t escape after Cuban successes until 2010. Javier Jimenez and Osmany Uriarte filled gaps after leaving by Yoandry Leal and Wilfredo Leon.

It seemed that Cubans can grab full set of points, but then Suomi started coming back to the game. Substitutes made by coach Tuomas Sammaelvuo gave satisfactory result. Opposite Oli-Pekka Ojansivu became top scorer, while setter Eemi Tervaportti used his spikers wisely and helped him in tie break, spiking few times on his own.

Crucial moments of the game was when Cubans led 17-11 in 4th set. Finland started decreasing behind by their middle blockers Konstantin Shumov and Jukka Lehtonen. Meanwhile Cubans came back to their “classic game” with many errors and hitting into straight block. Tiebreak was close, but Cuban’s level dropped and they lost game eventually.

My MVP choice – Eemi Tervaportti (Finland)

Brazil – Germany 3-0 (25-21 25-19 25-17)
Brazil: Bruno, Lucarelli (13), Lucas (12), Wallace (11), Murilo (5), Sidao (8), Mario Junior (L), Felipe Silva (L) and Felipe Fonteles (1), Visotto, Raphael
Germany: Kampa (2), Schwarz (7), Böhme (4), Grozer (11), Kaliberda (6), Günthör (3), Steuerwald (L), Tille (L) and Schöps (3), Kühner (1), Westpahl (1)

In first game in pool B Canarinhos didn’t give chance for Germans. Game wasn’t really exciting. In each set Brazil got at least 3 poiints of advantage before 2nd technical time outs.

Main difference between these teams is scoring effort by each player. It looks almost perfectly by Brazil, with outside hitter Lucarelli as leader, while Germans used opposite Gyorgy Grozer most often, with some contribution by outside hitters Sebastian Schwarz and Denis Kaliberda.

Next difference is using middles – Brazilian setter Bruno can play like that with covered eyer to Lucas, they play that effectively and amazingly, while German setter Lucas Kampa almost didn’t use his MBs what was additional simplifying of game for Brazil.

As a similarity we can mention that both teams played with two liberos.

My MVP choice – Lucas (Brazil)

Korea – Tunisia 3-1 (24-26 26-24 25-21 25-18)
Korea: S.S.Han (1), K.I.Jeon (11), Y.S.Shin (11), C.W.Park (24), S.S.Kwak (12), S.H.Park (12), Y.C.Bu (L), M.S.Jeong (L) and M.H.Choi (3), M.G.Lee, J.D.Seo, M.G.Song (6)
Tunisia: Sellami (1), Moalla (12), Kadhi (8), Garci (16), Ben Othmen Miladi (10), Agrebi (4), Taouerghi (L) and Ben Slimene (2), Milabi (2), Nagga, Kaabi (4), Karamosli (2)

Last game of the evening was for me the least exciting because of teams which played. I expected straight 3-set win by Korea, surprisingly Tunisia kept resistance especially in first two sets. Leading players in Korean team were opposite Chul-Woo Park and libero Yong-Chan Bu. The best player by Tunisia was outside hitter Ismail Moalla.

My MVP Choice – Yong-Chan Bu (Korea)

Photos: FIVB

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