2018 FIVB MEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS – PRELIMINARY POOL D
- Sept. 12-18, 2018
- Palace of Culture and Sports; Varna, Italy
- Pool D: No. 3 Poland, No. 8 Iran, No. 14 Bulgaria, No. 16 Cuba, No. 18 Finland, No. 29 Puerto Rico
A pair of NORCECA teams, Cuba and Puerto Rico, were eliminated from the tournament on Saturday. Cuba was knocked out in a sweep by Bulgaria, and Puerto Rico dropped a tight match to Finland despite a heroic effort from Maurice Torres. Despite injuries, Bulgaria has been putting a good foot forward in front of the home crowd.
BULGARIA DEF. CUBA 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-18)
While Bulgaria had already qualified for the next round, the entered the arena in Varna with purpose and delivered a 3-0 sweep over Cuba. Todor Skrimov re-aggravated his calf earlier in the week, and did not start in Sunday’s match. He entered the match as a substitute in each set but did not score any points. Nikolay Uchikov was the only player from Bulgaria to produce double-digit points with 17. He scored from 15 kills and 2 aces while hitting 55.6%. Valentin Bratoev scored 9 points on 6 kills, 2 blocks, and 1 ace. Nikolay Penchev contributed 7 points on 6 kills and 1 block from the outside.
Svetoslav Gotsev chipped in 9 points from the middle on 6 kills, 1 block, and 3 aces. The middle blocker posted a 66.7% attack average in the sweep. Viktor Yosifov also hit 66.7% on his way to 4 kills and 6 points overall. He also ended the match with a block and an ace. Georgi Seganov, who is replacing an injured Georgi Bratoev, set Bulgaria to a 48.1% efficiency in attack.
Cuba was led by Miguel Gutierrez and his 13 points on 11 kills and 2 blocks from the right side. Osniel Melegarejo put away 11 kills from the left pin in addition to service ace. Roamy Alonso led the match with 4 blocks and also contributed 3 kills in the defeat.
“I hope that I can play even better in the next games,” said Uchikov. “Sometimes you play your best but afterwards nothing goes well. Today I was in good condition. The whole team was extra motivated. We faced a very dangerous opponent but we were mentally calmed and game went to the best possible end for us.”
FINLAND DEF. PUERTO RICO 3-2 (25-19, 25-23, 27-29, 22-25, 15-10)
Maurice Torres, a new signing with Kioene Padova in Italy, was not able to fight Puerto Rico to their first victory despite his 37-point performance. He led the match with 32 kills and 4 aces. Torres also chipped in a block, but the defeat eliminated Puerto Rico from progression to the next round. Jonathan Rodriguez scored11 points in the middle on 9 kills and 2 blocks. Eddie Rivera came off the bench to score 10 points on 8 kills and 2 blocks.
Elviss Krastins led the way for Finland with 18 points from 17 kills and a service ace. He hit 58.6% in the tie-break victory. Urpo Sivula finished the match with 16 points on 14 kills, 1 block, and 1 ace. Antti Mäkinen Sakari contributed 14 points on 12 kills and 2 blocks for Finland. Sauli Sinkkonen led the match with 4 blocks. He also scored on 8 kills and 1 ace to finish with 13 points. Eemi Tervaportti set Finland to a 43.4% attack average.
After leading the match in scoring, Torres said,“This crowd was just incredible! It is fantastic for our sport to be supported by so many fans. So first I would like to thank them! The only thing I can say about the match is that we just missed its end.”
POOL D STANDINGS
POOL D SCHEDULE
|Date||Time||Score||Set 1||Set 2||Set 3||Set 4||Set 5||Total||Report|
|9 Sep||20:40||Bulgaria||3–0||Finland||25–21||25–19||25–22||75–62||P2 Report|
|12 Sep||17:00||Iran||3–0||Puerto Rico||25–19||25–14||25–18||75–51||P2 Report|
|12 Sep||20:30||Cuba||1–3||Poland||18–25||19–25||25–21||14–25||76–96||P2 Report|
|13 Sep||17:00||Puerto Rico||0–3||Poland||14–25||12–25||15–25||41–75||P2 Report|
|13 Sep||20:40||Iran||3–1||Bulgaria||25–22||25–20||22–25||25–19||97–86||P2 Report|
|14 Sep||17:00||Finland||3–1||Cuba||25–19||25–19||20–25||25–16||95–79||P2 Report|
|14 Sep||20:40||Bulgaria||3–0||Puerto Rico||25–16||25–18||25–21||75–55||P2 Report|
|15 Sep||17:00||Cuba||1–3||Iran||25–17||18–25||22–25||19–25||84–92||P2 Report|
|15 Sep||20:30||Poland||3–1||Finland||25–20||26–28||25–16||25–15||101–79||P2 Report|
|16 Sep||17:00||Puerto Rico||2–3||Finland||19–25||23–25||29–27||25–21||10–15||106–113||P2 Report|
|16 Sep||20:40||Cuba||0–3||Bulgaria||22–25||16–25||18–25||56–75||P2 Report|
|17 Sep||17:00||Cuba||–||Puerto Rico||–||–||–||0–0|