Spain overwhelmed Korea in straight sets Wednesday in an impressive launch to the Pool G quarterfinals of the men's World Volleyball Championships at Hiroshima's Green Arena. The Spaniards, making their world championship debut, took only 99 minutes to win 15-7, 15-6, 15-11, a far cry from last week's preliminary stage clash in Fukuoka where they scraped home 16-14 in the fifth set. But some things never change. Star spiker Rafael Pascual, the tournament's top scorer who tortured the Koreans with 20 points and 42 sideouts in their previous encounter, was in form again. He weighed in with another 12 points Wedesday to boost his four-match total to 65. The only blemish came in the third set when he was yellow-carded for dissent. Korea lost one of their best player's Shin Jin-Sik late in the third set with an injured right ankle. But the Koreans had no excuse. "We lost because our blockings were bad," said head coach Jin Jun-Taik. It was a good all-round performance by the Spaniards. Juan Carlos Robles, looked a new man. During the preliminaries in Fukuoka, Robles looked like he had stepped straight out of a Clint Eastwood western. But there was a remarkable change Wednesday. Gone was the three-day designer stubble and also most of his hair. "He had to clut it short because of problems with his shampoo," a Spanish official said. Spain's Italian head coach Vicenzo Di Pinto commented: "We had a good game and were able to concentrate well. In the final set, when the Koreans started to play well, we recovered our concentration and were able to counter."
KOREA : Coach Jin Jun-Taik Q : What's the comment of this game? A : "In today's game, Spain's high blocking was the crucial point of the game. Their block was so good." Q : How was Shin Jin-Sik's injury? A : "He injured right ankle. But we don't think it is serious." Q : What is the difference of Spain team between the last game and today's one? A : "We changed a number of players from the game in Fukuoka. That's one reason we did not have a good game. But Spain did very well today. Spain wasn't upset when we changed the pattern of offence. That's the reason of our loss." Captain: Kim Sung-Chae "The Spanish team changed the pattern of offence, and it was very hard for us to get over. In the last game they attacked from center of the back-court many times. Today they attacked from the front court." SPAIN Comment on today's match Coach Vicenzo Di Pinto "I think we played very well. One reason we won is that we could keep our concentration. I guess the Korean team was not so good condition today." Q : Compared to the last match with Korea, how did you play this match against the same opponent? A : "I don't change my strategy. Only I was trying to is to attack quickly." Q : Today Molto played instead of Carren. Does this strategy mean you considered high block? And what are you hopes for the next game against Japan? A : "I think tommorow's game is going to be so tough. I'll think about our strategy till tommorow." Team captain Venancio CostaMatch #38 - Pool G (Quarter-Final Round)
"We won more easily than we expected. That's because we prepared well against Korea." Q : I think the Spain team is in very good condition during this this championship. How did you win so comfortably today? A : "We did nothing special. We are always trying to do our best whoever the opponent is." Spain team Spiker Pascual Rafael Q : We think you were not in condition today, what is your opinion ? And what do you think about the game against Japan tommorow? A : "Although I was not the best condition, our team defeated Korea by 3-0. I'll do my best next game tommorow."
In their first game of the Pool-G quarterfinal-round in Hiroshima Brazil , one of the most mentioned favourites for the Final Four, beat Canada in three straight sets in 78 minutes . But in the first to sets the first period was very equalled - twice the Canadiens kept up the score (6-6) before the Brazilians could make the difference.In the first set the Canadiens , lining up in Hiroshima without any pressure at all, even achieved a 3-1 lead. The third set was opened by nice Brazil combination-attacking: setter Mauricio Lima (No.6), besides Douglas Chiarotti the only remaining player from the gold medal team of the Olympic Games in Barcelona, set the ball twice in a row superbebly to Gilberto Godoy Filho (No.7). The first time with a short ball backwards, and then Lima launched Gilberto for a nice 3-meter-attack from the centre of the court. Gilberto only measures 192cm but he is actualy the most spectacular player of his team. The rest was easy work for the Brazilians who could profit from some unforced errors of the Canadian Team . " On every mistake we did the Brazilian team was able to take profit from", said Garth Pischke, headcoach of the Canadian team. The Brazilian headcoach Radames Lattari Filho was satisfied: " We were able to score points in a regular way since we colud relay on a good serve and good blocking." It seems that the hard blocking-work in training which the Brazilians did has its output during the games.
CANADA What's the comment about today's game? Coach : Garth PISCHE "The Brazil team had a lot of concentration. We also played with concentration, but we lost 3-0. Compared with our team, Brazil is more used to international championships, but we also play well in such big matches, and we did so well at some point." Question: You have won against CUBA 3-1 in the qualifying tournament in North America. How do you win in the next game against CUBA? Answer: " We had a strategy to win against CUBA before, and we'll play like that this time, too." Captain : Jason HALDANE "We had different setters today, but Scott played very well. We couldn't display our own game today, so the game is over so quickly." Player : Scott KOSKIE "We made too many mistakes in the game, and we lost it. They made few mistakes. We need to have much pride in the game, then we'll be able to get better results. We'll do our best with pride from now." BRAZIL Head Coach : Filho LATTARI Q: What's the comment about today's game? A: "The Canada team played bad today. At the press conference, they said that they couldn't win against BRAZIL and CUBA. I thought it was a fake." Q: What do you have any idea as the head coach of the world-top-team? A: "Our team us getting better and better. We can change strategy for each our opponent." Captain: Nalbert BITENCOURT "We didn't play perfectly in the 1st and 2nd set, because we were not ready yet. We played better in the 3rd set as we always do. We're in better condition every time we play here. I hope we'll be able to play much better like we've done so far. We'll do our best." Player Mauricio LIMA " As the captain answered now, we didn't play well because we were nervous in the 1st and 2nd sets, but we played better in the 3rd set, because we were much relaxed."Match #39 - Pool G (Quarter-Final Round)
CUBA Coach : Juan DIA "Today's game was very important for the semi-final round. We had fought against Bulgaria 5 times before and we knew it would be difficult to win the game. We made some mistakes in services and receives. We changed some of the players in the 4th set in order to get our own rhythm back, and it worked. It's very significant to win this game. It was a good game." Q: What were the results in the 5 games against Bulgaria so far? A: "In the World League we won 3 games and lost 2 games. Now we have 4 wins. All the games were close and it was very difficult to get over the Bulgaria team." Q: What do you think with some of the teams coming here to watch your game today? Didn't you want to show all the skills you have in the game? A: "We know that other teams came here to video tape the game to analyze our game. We thought it's the best way to play in our own style. To solve the bad points in today's game, we will do our best." Q: Did you think that you would go on to the 5th set? A: "In the meeting before the game today. We talked about the game, saying we'd win the game 3-0, but we knew it would be difficult to win the game easily. We didn't want to go on to the 5th set because of the rally point system. " Captain : Ihosvany HERNANDEZ We're glad to win the 1st game here. We did very well with a good team-work and we played as we wanted in the 4th set. Q: What do you think that women team has won the championship? A: "It's very great that they won the championship and we also want to win the championship step by step." BULGARIA HEAD COACH : Gueorgui VASSILEV "We played very well and I'm satisfied on that point. But we lost our concentration in the 3rd set. The judge made a big mistake, and I was so upset about that. We felt sorry, but we're going to change our feelings in tomorrow's match." Q: Compared to today's match, what were the results of the 5 matches against CUBA in the world league? A: "I was not a coach at that time, so I'm not sure about that. I was assigned a head coach of the national team on August 1st, and the members and the strategies are not so different." Captain: Petar Ouzounov "We don't have much chance to win today's game." Q: You said that you didn't have much chance to win, but what do you mean by that? A: "Scores were very close, but the CUBA team is superior to us, block, for example."Match #40 - Pool G (Quarter-Final Round)
In their first game of Pool G in quarterfinal-round of the Men's World Championships in Hiroshima Japan lost against Argentina 1-3 (12-15, 12-15, 15-12, 10-15) . The host team was enthusiastically supported by most of the 6520 spectators in the Green Arena . First of all Japans libero player Koichi Nishimura set a ball for his spikers which didn't fit to the rules . But then Nobutaka Hirano opend the score in favour of the host team. After a 4-3 lead the Japanese outside - hitters had several bad moments . But thanks to their libero who received well and touched nearly every ball Japan took the lead again (9-8).Though the Argentines were too stable mentaly and kept their patience . With an ace-serve Pablo Pereira finished the first set in favour of Argentina. In the second round Argentina always was in the lead after a 9-9-tie and made the second set as well with 15-12. In the third set the Japanese players fought back with incredible defending skills - with marvelous saves from their libero Nishimura - and strong blocks ( Kentaro Asahi-No.7). A wave of euphoria spread out in the Green Arena when Japan achieved the final point for the 15-12 win of the third set. Also in the fourth set the crowd was delighted by spectacular rallies but Arentines experienced players didn't make many errors and never lost control longer than for a few moments. In the end Japan couldn't balance out the disatvantage of the injury of their team captain Masaji Ogino, recovering slowly from a knee operation. Ogina, one of the best receivers at all, had to leave the court after the first set. " We must do our best in the next games to win the important rallies after the score of 10 ", Japanese head coach Futoshi Teramawari said. Argentine coach Daniel Castellani said: " It was a very difficult game. Japan played very well and their defense was fantastic. I have never seen Japan digging so many balls."
ARGENTINA Coach : Daniel CASTELLANI "It is a little difficult to fight against the host team. Today's game was the best one, better than the last 3 matches so far." Q: The 1st and 2nd sets were close and you won but you lost the 3rd one. What's the difference? A: "It's difficult to win the game. In the 3rd set we lost the patience and lost the set." Captain : Javier WEBER "We're happy to win this game, much more difficult than the other matches. They played very well, especially in receives, and of course, we're happy because we played better today." Q: Who do you think is the good player in the Japan team? A: "The libero Nishimura and Nakagaichi." Q: How was the game today and how much percentage was this game? A: "Both team played very well so there's no difference. " Marcos MILINKOVIC "I'm so glad to win this game. The Japan team played very well and we won. " Q: How was the game today and how much percentage was this game? A: "We showed 60 % of our ability because it's difficult to play the game against the home team." JAPAN COACH : Futoshi TERAMAWARI "Hirano and Otake did not play against the Korean team in our last game, but this time they played from the start, because both the players were in very good condition. We won the third set, even though it was a close set. We couldn't get the other sets because their services and blocks were good. We'd like to check the video tape of this game later for the next game. " TEAM CAPTAIN: Masaji OGINO "We lost all the sets except the third one. We lost the game because their blocks and services were so good. We'd like to do our best the next time."
Russia had a difficult morning on the opening day of the quarterfinal round of the World Championship. In Chiba-Makuhari, the team of head-coach Guennadi Chipouline almost lost to the USA. It took the Russians more than three hours to beat the fighting spirit of the formation of coach Doug Beal. Russia started the match well. The big blocks of Alexei Kazakov (number 7, with 2.17 meters the tallest in the tournament) were too much for the Americans. But people from the USA never give up. When "team USA" was 5-9 behind, the team started the comeback point by point. The first setpoint (14-13) was the right one. After Russia won the second set, USA was the best team in the third set. Mike Lambert (number 3) was in a very good form. The spiker scored almost all his attacks. At 13-12 he was responsible for the win of the set. But at that time, the USA was not able anymore to continue this level of play. Russia took an early lead in the fourth set, and "I don't like loosing very much", Beal said. His disappointment is acceptable. USA had the big chance to beat Russia, one of the biggest favourites for the World Crown. Captain Lloy Ball (number 1) had almost the same idea. "When you win two out of three sets, it is always a disappointment if you don't win the match. I think we couldn't win because of the lack of experience." That was a right statement, because only Ball, the setter of the team, played any match against Russia before. The Russian coach Chipouline was glad his team turned the match around just in time. "USA is a very good team", he admitted. "Fortunately we could win this game. But I am sure that for teams like Italy and Yugoslavia it will be very difficult to beat the USA." For Russia, it was a relieve that the team won the match. To get a spot in the medal-round, the Europeans cannot loose to many matches.
Lloy Ball (USA) Captain Q : Any comments after this close defeat ? A : Our team played much better than during our last game against Italy. Then, we only played well during one set. Today, we did well during two sets, so hopefully tomorrow, we can keep our level up three sets long. Mike Lambert (USA) Player Q : USA almost beat Russia... A : Yeah, we sure did some good things out there. The problem is nthat we go too hot and cold, we have to learn to carry our good play over to the next set. Douglas Beal (USA) Head Coach Q : Your impressions on this game ? A : There will be many long tough matches in this group. The teams have to play at a good level during a long time in order to survive. Today, Russia made some very good changes, especially rotation changes. Vadim Khamouttskikh (RUS) Captain Q : Happy with your victory? A : I am very satisfied with today's match, especially with the end result ! But we need to practice more for tomorrow's match against China. Dmitri Fomine (RUS) Player Q : Your impressions? A : We have played USA often, but I must admit we were surprised by their good first set. In the last two sets, we finally found our game again. Guennadi Chipouline (RUS) Head Coach Q : It was a very long match... A : Yes, today, it was a difficult match. USA was very well organized.
Match Results (Adobe Acrobat .pdf file)
Match #42 - Pool H (Quarter-Final Round)
NED beat GRE 3-0 (15-2, 15-8, 15-4) - duration 1:04
18/11/98, start time: 13:45 - Attendance: 2,600
The first match of The Netherlands in the quarterfinal-round of the World Championship was a very easy one. The formation of head-coach Toon Gerbrands, the tallest coach of this tournament, flied completely over Greece. In the first set, the Greek team had no chance to bring the "Flying Dutchmen" into troubles. Within twenty minutes, the score was 15-2 in Dutch favour. Just in the middle of the second set, Greece was able to score some points. The Netherlands couldn't score easy anymore, therefore the current Olympic Champion had to fight just a little bit harder. But in the third set, the Dutch scoring-machine was working again. For the poor Greece players, the jump-serve of the Dutch opposite-player Richard Schuil (number 6) was unstoppable. Also the blocks of captain Bas van de Goor (number 9) and almost the other players from Holland were too big for the opponent, the number six of the last World Championship. Gerbrands was very happy that this match took only a short time. "We saved some energy", he said. "This quarterfinal-round will kill some teams. You have to play seven matches in a short time. Therefore I'm glad that this win took us only one hour. That is our victory today." For Greece there is no hope that the team can finish at a high position if the team continue to play like the players did today. After the second set, the Greek team gave up and they walked The Netherlands to the victory. But Greece didn't only loose the match. After the second set, libero Athanasios Michalopoulos (number 14) had to leave the court because of a foot-injury. Konstantinos Christofidelis (number 1) replaced the former libero.
Bas Van De Goor (NED) Captain We had an easy match today. The Greek weren't playing like they usually can. We won two sets really easily and in the second set we started to make some mistakes, that's why we gave them a few points. We served really well, so I'm pretty confident for tomorrow's match against Ukraine. Richard Schuil (NED) Player I believe matches like these one are difficult because we have to make the game. But they are also an excellent opportunity to practice our serve. Q : Was it more a training session than a match ? A : Saying that wouldn't be fare. They never managed to get into the game. Toon Gerbrands (Ned) Head Coach My comment will be as short as the match ! It didn't take much energy to win today, so that's an excellent thing. Q : You really didn't want to spend too much time on court... A : That's true. If we can play short matches, we have more time for training. Nevertheless, matches like these can show our players what their top level is. We scored 19 straight points in blocking today ! That's incredible. But I also want to say that I didn't recorgnize Greece today. Where was their usual passion? I believe they gave up too soon. . Q : Did you never consider making your second six play? A : Never ! It's a question of strategy. I want my team to grow together. And also we must try not to have too many points against us. Differences between teams may come down to points. Marios Giourdas (GRE) Captain I really don't feel like commenting our match. Let's hope to God we play better tomorrow. Vasileios Kournetas (GRE) Player Q : The Dutch head coach, Toon Gerbrands mentioned the lack of passion. Where has the greek fighting spirit gone ? A : We haven't been satisfied with our preliminary round matches. So today, when we started to play badly, we got depressed and from then on it was a downward spiral. Stellios Kazazis (GRE) Head Coach Q : The question isn't why you lost, but why nobody even tried to play better ? A : Many different things go through the players'heads. Some believe that some matches arew lost before they're even started. We really have to change thatMatch #43 - Pool H (Quarter-Final Round)
Yugoslavia only lost thirteen points in their clash versus China. The Chinese players played very bad, while the formation of head-coach Zoran Gajic tried to make the game as short as possible. And the number two of the last European Championship succeeded in this goal. After just more than one hour, Yugoslavia took the win. Yugoslavia showed the spectators in the Makuhari Messe that the team is certainly one of the favourites for the World Crown. Setter Nikola Grbic (number 9), last year voted as the best player in Europe, had no problems finding all his spikers. And when the Chinese tried to attack, they find the big block of Yugoslavia every time. For Yugoslavia, this victory continued the winning-streak of the bronze medallist of the Olympic Games of 1996 in Atlanta. The only slight problem Gajic can face in the next days of the quarterfinal-round is that the players can get tired. But with more matches like this one versus China, it will not be happening soon.
Zeljko Tanaskovic (YUG) Captain Westarted playing well and playing seriously from the beginning. And by serving and spiking very well, we didn't give China the slightest chance. Zoran Gajic (YUG) Head Coach It was very important for us to win 3 :0 and only to lose 13 points. But I 'm also happy that we played better volleyball than in the preliminary round. Now, we have to face another problem : we finished today's match at five and tomorrow's game against Greece is scheduled at 10.00. How am I supposed to prepare my team ? Q : China finished second in their pool behind The Netherlands. Were you anxious to play the Chinese today ? A : No, not really. We played China in World League in 1997 and the result was similar to today's. Liming Zhang (CHN) Captain We didn't play well at all and it is very hard to take mentally. Jiawei Wang (CHN) Head Coach We would like to appologize to our fans and to the Chinese journalists who support us : we know they have great expectations and we didn't fulfill them today. We didn't have enough warming-up time before the match, so that didn't help. Nevertheless, we know Yugoslavia is a very talented team. I really want to change everyone's opinion about us and I want to do that from tomorrow.Match #44 - Pool H (Quarter-Final Round)
The last match of the first day of the quarterfinal round in Chiba-Makuhari was a very nice match to watch. Defending World Champion beat Ukraine with the score of 3-0, but to gain the victory was not so easy for the "Azuri". Ukraine played a very good side-out game, but the only problem for the team of head-coach Leonid Likhno was that the players had very big troubles to score a point. Therefore the Italians, the current number two of the FIVB World Ranking, had to play a long match. Italy was not in troubles losing the match. In the first set, Andrea Sartoretti (number 7) clinched the first set for his team. He aced the opponent with his very typical jump-serve. In the second set, Marco Bracci (number 8) was responsible for the win of the set. When Italy regain the lead from 11-12 to 13-12, one attack and one block delivered Italy the set. At that moment, the match was over. Ukraine had a slight chance to stay in the match, but their hope was gone after loosing the second set. Italy finished the game in a very professional way. With this result, all the favourites for a top spot at the end of the tournament did their job well in Chiba-Makuhari. Italy, The Netherlands, Yugoslavia and Russia all won their first matches. Tomorrow this countries can make a bigger gap, because all these four teams will meet a losing formation.
Marco Meoni (ITA) Player We had the game under control from the beginning. I am satisfied because we tested new systems and they worked well. In the second set, we let them come back too far. Pasquale Gravina (ITA) Player I agree with Meoni, we were the bosses throughout the match. However I still think we should try and keep the speed up when we're winning. We tend to relax too much. Paulo De Freitas (ITA) Head Coach We are now much better at recuperating balls that have hit the block. The Ukranian wall is very impressive, nevertheless we often managed to keep the ball in play for three or four different spikes. We had already played Ukraine for the European qualifications and we know how powerful the players are. They did a good job, especially in the second set when they took advantage of the opportunity to get back into the match. Oleksandr Shadchin (UKR) Captain We made too many mistakes in reception and our setting wasn't optimal. We also had combination problems. Q : Now that you managed to qualify for these quarter-finals, what's your next goal? A : The teams in this group are very strong, you know. We will try and make the most of every little winning chance we can get. But with Italy, Russia and The Netherlands, it will be very tough. Leonid Likhno (UKR) Head Coach My players were nervous from the start, having to play the defending champions. We saw the difference in experience immediately. We're really happy to still be in this big tournament and we want to try and play our best volleyball.