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Cuba, Italy and Russia book semifinal tickets at Men's U23 World Championship

 
Dubai, United Arab Emirates, August 28, 2015 – Three  teams booked semifinal tickets at the 2015 Men's U23 World Championship as Cuba, Italy in Pool A and Russia in Pool B continued their winning streak on Day 4 of the competition held at Al Nasr and Al Ahly Halls in Dubai, United Arab Emirates on Friday. 

The last semifinal berth will be left for the final day of the preliminary round between Turkey and Brazil to be determined through their face to face clash on Saturday. Only the victory 3-0 can guarantee a ticket for the defending champions, while Turkey need to score one set to clinch the last Semis vacancy. 

Cuba and Italy led Pool A with the full mark of 12 points from 4-0 winning streak with Norceca representative having advantage in the set ratio. Iran came third (6 points from 2-2) Egypt and Korea (Both 3 points from 1-3) and UAE sixth with 0-4. 

Pool B have become complicated as Russia led with 10 points from 4-0 followed by Turkey 10 points from 3-1, Brazil 7 points from 2-2, Argentina 6 points (2-2), Tunisia 3 points (1-3) and finally Mexico 0 point (0-4). 

The last day of the preliminary round will feature a quarrel for pool leaders between Cuba and Italy. Egypt face Iran where they need to win in straight set to have the chance for 5 to 8 standings. Korea play UAE seeking second win. In Pool B Brazil meet Turkey for the last semifinal ticket, Argentina battle it out against Tunisia, while Russia line up against Mexico to confirm leading the pool  

Pool A

World Junior No 3 Italy continued to delight the fans in the FIVB Men’s U23 World Championship by collecting their fourth consecutive win with an impressive 3-1 victory (25-23, 15-25, 25-17, 26-24) over No 5 Iran to remain undefeated after a thrilling encounter at Al Nasr Hall. With the victory Italy confirmed a semifinal ticket, one day before the end of the preliminary round, while Iran dropped to 2-2 in the tough Pool A competition.

Gabriele Nelli led the Italian scorers with impressive 17 points followed by Tiziano Mazzone 12. Iran's scorer and match scorer was Javad Hosseinabadi with 18 points followed by captain Purya Fayazi 10.

Cuba outclassed hosts United Arab Emirates in straight set (25-22, 28-26, 25-16) to register their 4th victory in a row in their way to book the second semifinal ticket of Pool A. The match showed a brave performance from the hosts, but finally it was the experience that allowed the Cubans to continue their streak. 

The Cuban team also dominated all the skill having a 14/5 average in kill blocks beside 5/4 in Ace services. Cuba's big gum was as usual their  outside hitter Mestre Uriarte who scored 16 points including 3 stuff blocks, followed by the other position 4 hitter Abrahan Alfonso 14. UAE's marvelous attacker Mohamed Alswaidi contributed impressive 21 points for his team as the match top scorer. 

Korea won a hard-fought match against a valiant Egypt team 3-1 (25-20, 25-18, 19-25, 25-22). Kim Sungmin's swooping spikes from all over the court ultimately gave the Koreans a narrow edge in a close match which could have gone the Egypt's way with lead changes, hustle plays and long rallies.

Sungmin led the winners' chart with 21 points followed by Jung Jeseok who scored 16. From the loser side Ahmed Shafik contributed 19 points including 5 stuff blocks followed by Abdelrahman Abouelela 10. 
 
 Pool B

Argentina defeated Brazil by 3-2 (25-18, 25-18, 31-33, 23-25, 15-13) in epic five setter. Despite reaching 6 points with this victory, Argentina lost their hopes to qualify for the semifinals. Defending champions Brazil has 7 points and kept their semifinals hope alive before the last day when they meet Turkey. 

Argentina’s Pablo Koukartsev was the star player of the game with 34 points. Alan Souza’s 22 points were not enough for Brazil to avoid defeat.

Russia defeated Turkey in grueling five setter 3-2 (21-25, 25-15, 25-23, 23-25, 15-8) to clinch the third berth to the final 4. With this victory, Russia stayed unbeaten while Turkey faced their first loss. Gokhan Gokgoz of Turkey was the best scorer with 21 points. Russia’s Egor Kliuka scored 20 points.

Tunisia blanked Mexico 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 26-24). Tunisia gained their first victory in their fourth game while Mexico remain winless. Tunisia’s Elyes Garfi was the best scorer with 16 points and Adam Oueslati helped him with 14 points. On the other side, Julian Duarte scored 12 points for Mexico.

Best Performances 

Top Scorer by Day
Day 1: 21- Gabriele Nelli of Italy v Egypt on on August 24
Day 2: 24- Javad Hosseinabadi of Iran v Korea on August 25
Day 3: 23- Metin Toy of Turkey v Mexico on August 26
           23- Maesre Uriarte of Cuba v Iran on August 26 
Day 4: 34- Pablo Koukartsev of Argentina v Brazil on August 28

Top Scoring Performances
34- Pablo Koukartsev of Argentina v Brazil on August 28
24- Gonzalo Quiroga of Argentina v Brazil on August 28
24- Javad Hosseinabadi of Iran v Korea on August 25
23- Metin Toy of Turkey v Mexico on August 26
23- Maesre Uriarte of Cuba v Iran on August 26
22- Alan Souza of Brazil v Argentina on August 28
22- Metin Toy of Turkey v Tunisia on August 25
21- Mohamed Alsuwaidi of UAE v Cuba on August 28
21- Gokhan Gokgoz of Turkey v Russia on August 28
21- Sergai Mikitin of Russia v Argentina on August 26
21- Gabriele Nelli of Italy v Egypt on August 24
20- Douglas Souza  of brazil v Argentina on August 28
20- Edgar Kliuka of Russia v Turkey on August 28
20- Javad Hosseinabadi of Iran v Cuba on August 26
20- Gabriele Nelli of Italy v Korea on August 26
20- Alexander Kimerov of Russia v Brazil on August 25
20- Alexander Kimerov of Russia v Tunisia on August 24
19- Ahmed Shafik of Egypt v Korea on August 28
19- Kim Inhyoek of Korea v Italy on August 26
19- Pablo Koukartsev of Argentina v Russia on August 26
19- Egor Kliuka of Russia v Brazil on August 25
19- Alan Souza of Brazil v Russia on August 25

Top Individual Serving Performances
4- Elyes Garfi of Tunisia v Brazil on August 26
4- Gabriele Nelli of Italy v UAE on August 25
4- Malek Chekir of Tunisia v Russia on August 24

Top Team Serving Performances
11- Cuba v Korea on August 24
9- Italy v Egypt on August 24
9- Egypt v Italy on August 24

Top Individual Blocking Performances
8- Joaquin Gallengo of Argentina v Russia on August 26
7- Emre Savas of Turkey v Russia on August 28
7- Pablo Koukartsev of Argentina v Brazil on August 28
7- Joaquin Gallengo of Argentina v Turkey on August 24
7- Luca Sprito of Italy v Korea on August 26
6- Segei Nikitin of Russia v Argentina on August 26
6- Jose Martinez of Mexico v Turkey on August 26
6- Ivan Demakov of Russia v Brazil on August 25

Top Team Blocking Performances
22- Russia v Tunisia on August 24
21- Russia v Turkey on August 28
18- Russia v Argentina on August 26
17- Italy v Korea on August 26
16- Argentina v Turkey on August 24
15- Egypt v Korea on August 28
15- Egypt v UAE on August 26
15- Mexico v Turkey on August 26
15- Cuba v Korea on August 24

Highest Scoring Sets
Day 1: 25-22 Cuba v Korea (3rd Set) on August 24
            25-22 Tunisia v Russia (2nd set) on August 24
Day 2: 26-24 Russia v Brazil (1st set) on August 25
Day 3: 33-31 Cuba v Iran (1st set) on August 26
Day 4: 33-31 Brazil v Argentina (3rd set) on August 28

Highest Scoring Matches
Day 1 Turkey v Argentina 3-1 (25-19, 25-21, 22-25, 25-19) on August 24 - 181 points 
Day 2 Iran v Korea 3-1 (22-25, 25-22, 25-17, 25-22) on August 25 - 185 points
Day 3 Russia v Argentina 3-2 (23-25, 25-21, 22-25, 25-22, 15-9) on August 26 - 212 points 
Day 4 Argentina v Brazil 3-2 (25-18, 25-18, 31-33, 23-25, 15-13) on August 28 - 226 points

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