Dubai, United Arab Emirates, August 29, 2015 – Cuba defeated Italy 3-2 (25-27, 23-25, 26-24, 27-25, 15-9) to top Pool A at the FIVB Men's U23 World Championship. Cuba coach stated that he changed the strategy in the third set to win the tough encounter.
Cuba's Coach Rodolfo Sanchez:
"We began playing set by set, point by point. Our plan was to score as much points as possible in the first two sets but unfortunately, it didn't work as we wanted. Italy is a great nation and is one with a very strong volleyball team. After the first two sets were over, we decided to change our strategy and because of this, we were able to score points and win."
"I will not say a word about how I changed our strategy but I will say this; because of the change in strategy, the attitude and behaviour of the players changed. We tactically solved the problem and thus, our mental thinking towards victory changed."
Cuba's Captain Ricardo Calvo:
"It was a wonderful match for both teams. This match was extremely important and I think it helped us improve even more. I'd like to congratulate both teams for the spirit and hard work they did. I believe we are now prepared to play in the semifinals."
(When asked which team they'd prefer to play against in the semifinals): "Any team, it doesn't matter. We are ready."
Italy's Coach Michele Totire:
"Congratulations Cuba team because they were really great . We did our best in the first 2 sets , but it was impossible for them to win the third set especially that the points were really far apart ( 21/17). "Cuba's team played very well and I think the players are very skillful in blocking. And for us it was very important to have such a game because this will help us a lot by having an experience about other types of strategies that some teams just use ."
I would like to say that this match was really hard for both teams , both teams tried their best to win in an any way and that was obvious in the difference of the points."
Italy's Captain Luca Spirito:
"I think we played good in the first 2 sets but then our mistakes started going greater. We had a good match but at the same time we didn't play our level maybe because of the stress we were living in during the match because the points were getting very near. Congratulations Cuba for the great effort they showed in the last three sets which made the match seems more exciting and this made all the players show their best."