WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS - 29 November 1998



Match #99 - 11th/12th
ARG beat CAN 3-0 (15-7, 15-10, 15-6) - duration 1:12
29/11/98, start time: 10:00 - Attendance: 710

FIVB Press Release
Argentina win a flavourless match of the disillusioned

Tears were shed at Tokyo's Metropolitan Gymnasium, and not only because the match between Canada and Argentina was falvourless. It was Argentina's setter and captain Javier Weber's (number 6) last game wearing the white and light blue jersey. Brazilian player Giba, who injured himself in the semi-final against Italy came to the side of the court on his crutches to congratulate Weber. So even though Argentina beat Canada easily, Argentina was crying. The match itself was not worthy of the World Championship label. Both teams were extremely desillusioned and they had great problems in finding motivation to fight for the eleventh place in the World. The Canadian plane seemed to have left one day early and Argentina's volleyball was far from its usual level. But the latin pride led Argentina to seek revenge from an earlier match lost 3-1 to the same yet fresher Canadians. The first set was filled with unforced mistakes on either side of the net, the spikes landing really far from the playing court. But Marcos Milinkovic (number 1) imposed his strength and power at the net. He blocked Canada alone and combined a beautiful pipe with Juan Carlos Cuminetti (number 12). Canada, on the other hand were showing fighting spirit for one point and then completely giving up right aftewards. Nothing seemed to be working in head coach Garth Pischke's team. The only breath of fresh air was the entrance of Terry Martin (number 16) for Ross Ballard (number 12) in the second set. Canada's captain Jason Haldane (number 15) served well, but that wasn't enough. Their hearts and minds were somewhere else. Not a happy end for two extremely tired and disappointed teams.

Daniel Castellani(ARG) Head Coach
Q : I heard that you weren't satisfied with the result of this competition. 
A : No. I'm not satisfied with it. We were unable to show our ability and strength in this
World Championship. It was happy that we won this last game, but I'm not pleased with
the whole result of this Championship.

Javier Weber(ARG) Captain 
Q : Are you sad to retire after this match?
A : It is very sad to retire after fourteen years playing for national team.
I am glad to win my last game, but, of course, I feel sad to retire as every player feels.

Marcos Milinkovic(ARG) 
Q : Do you think your team would be good influenced with introducing Rally-Point
A : I think the good point of this system is that we can get higher our motivation, and the
bad point is that this system makes the world of volleyball narrow concerning tactics and
the way of play. But, it works positive for our team. 

Garth Pischke [CAN] Head Coach
Q: What was your impression of this game ?
A: This Championship was tough for Canada and we found that we were required to
prepare well to fight against other teams under pressure during three weeks playing here.
We have to focus on every aspect to improve our teams and reach the other level of the
teams. The upcoming Olympic Games in two years will be a good competition for us. 

Terry Martin [CAN] Number 16
Q: You were playing this game very actively, weren't you ?
A: Yes. I was able to play emotionally and had a good time.

Match #100 - 3rd/4th
CUB beat BRA 3-1 (12-15, 15-6, 15-11, 15-12) - duration 2:03
29/11/98, start time: 13:00 - Attendance: 2,340 Cuba blocks away Brazil 3-1 to win bronze medal

FIVB Press Release
Cuba blocks away Brazil 3-1 to win bronze medal

In the bronze medal game of 1998 Men's World Championships in Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo. Cuba defeats Brazil 12-15,15-6,15-11,15-12.The battle for the bronze medal was much more contested than in the quarterfinal round in Osaka where Cuba couldn't keep up at all. But fortunately it was rather atmosphere of revenge and not one of sadness after the semifinal deception. Obviously, the Cubans had well retired from the undisputed defeat against Yugoslavia. "My team was totally different from the last game," said Cuban coach Juan Diaz. Brazil had to play without "Giba" Godoy Filho, suffering from a strained ankle. " Of course we were missing Giba a lot," said Brazilian Captain Nalbert Bitencourt after the game. Good Brazilian blocking - what usualy is not their best tool - was the basic for the lead 14-11. But once more , Cuba succeded in "freezing" a set at its edge . The Brazilians only could score the 11th setpoint , an ace winner by captain Nalbert Bitencourt. The Brazilians, drawing on the experience and flair of 1992 Olympic gold medalists Mauricio Lima and Douglas Chiarotti, suffered in second set. The exchange of first setter Lima by Ricardo Garcia couldn't change the momentum. In the third set at 2-2 Brazilian setter Mauricio Lima was showed a red card (loss of a point) after not stopping to dispute with the first referee. The longer the game lasted the more "Giba's" attacking-skills were missed, as the Cuban block got stronger and stronger. First of all middle-blockers Pavel Pimienta and Ihosvany Hernandez were the succesful leader of the Carribean wall. Pimienta scored 10 block points, out of 22 of the whole team. Performing with much more confidence than the day before, the Cubans entered new attacking-power by very well playing Angel Dennis instead of Gato. After 123 minutes , Ihosvany Hernandez, the best player on the court, scored the bronze point. For Cuba, World League winner 1998, it was the third medal at World Championships after Rome 78 (bronze) and Rio 90 (silver).

Ihosvany Hernandez (CUB) Captain
We were very tense because we needed a victory. Our first aim was to be in the
quarter-finals, we managed that, but then we also wanted a medal. We wanted to show
the audience a good game.
Q : You only have four days of holiday before you start playing in Italy for Alpitour
Cuneo. Will that be long enough to recuperate ?
A : Of course I would love to have a whole month off. But volleyball is my job and it's
really important for me to play in Italy.

Juan Diaz Marino (CUB) Head Coach
This was a very tight game. Both teams had had touch matches yesterday with
semi-finals against Italy and Yugoslavia. We were way too emotional yesterday. We
know Brazil really well because we play each other often. Our goal was to reach a high
level today and keep our game at that level. We blocked particularly well today, which
allowed us to score many points.

Nalbert Bitencourt (BRA) Captain
Well... I think we only played at 50% today. We put too much effort into the semi-final
against Italy and we weren't able to get over that match in 24 hours. Cuba, on the other
hand digested their defeat to Yugoslavia much better.
Q : How different would the match have been with GibaGodoy Filho (number 7) ?
A : He obviously is very important in our team, but today's result had nothing to do with
him not playing.

Radames Lattari Filho (BRA) Head Coach
It's been a long time since I saw Cuba playing with that much heart. 
Q : An overall comment on Brazil's performance in Japan ?
A : I am proud of every game we played. Last night, all my players were waiting up for
Giba to come back from the hospital, they didn't get much rest. I am not satisfied with the
refereeing. We knew from the first round that the judgements were of poor quality, but I
was hoping it would change for the semis and the finals.

Match #101 - 9th/10th
USA beat UKR 3-0 (16-14, 15-12, 15-10) - duration 1:19
29/11/98, start time: 16:02 - Attendance: 1,500

FIVB Press Release
9th place for team USA

In the game for 9th place in Metropolitan Gymnasium in Tokyo USA defeated Ukraine 16-14,15-12 ,15-10. In the first set Ukraine gave away one set-point to lose the first leg 14-16. It was an unforced Ukrainian error which finished the first set and it was the same to conclude the second in favour of team USA . The ten scoring points of captain Oleksandr Shadchin didn't help to avoid Ukrainians defeat. In the crucial parts of the game towards the end of the sets the American players were more willing to overcome their opponents and they deserved well winning 9th place. Still, the good old times when team USA was collecting medals at Olympic Games and World Championships (1984 - 94) with outstanding players like Karch Kiraly , Steve Timmons or Jeff Stork, are far away. Ukrainian head coach Leonid Likhno was satisfied with this result, as the team participated for the first time in World Championships and the best reference so far was the 7th place in the European Championships 1997 :" Our team could prepare together only for 15 days. So, every single victory in this tournament was a big success for us."

Lloy Ball (USA) Captain
I'm really glad the tournament is over ! But overall, I'm pretty pleased. We could have
stopped playing once we knew we were no longer fighting for medals, but we carried on
trying. 9th is better than we were. At the moment, we need all the world ranking points
we can get. Now one or two really strong players will join the group and hopefully we'll
be in the Sydney Olympic games

Doug Beal (USA) Head Coach
My team showed a lot of character this afternoon, especially when opposed to a team
we had already lost to. We accomplished almost everything we wanted here in Japan.
We could also have finished higher if we had played in the other quarter-final group. I
feel really good about this team. This was a pretty brutal stretch of games and we come
out 9th having learnt a lot. Some of the guys did great performances. I'm really glad.

Oleksandr Shadchin (UKR) Captain
We were extremely tired. That led us to making far too many mistakes, especially in
reception. Last time we played USA, it was mid-tournament and we were still trying to
show the world who Ukraine is. Tiredness is no real excuse, we should have played

Leonid Likhno (UKR) Head Coach
This was our 12th game and my players were really tired psychologically. And funnily
enough, USA played a lot better than last time.

Match #102 - 5th/6th
RUS beat NED 3-0 (15-7, 15-12, 15-12) - duration 1:56
29/11/98, start time: 12:00 - Attendance: 3,420

FIVB Press Release
Russia demolish Dutch for fifth place

Russia gained their second victory over The Netherlands to earn fifth place in the World Volleyball Championship in Tokyo Sunday. The 1982 World titleholder was never in danger during the clash with the Dutch and completed the win in three sets 15-7, 15-12, 15-12. Dutch spiker Richard Schuil was already out of the "Orange" formation with an injury a couple of days ago and Sunday it was setter Misha Latuhihin who was not able to play. Yesterday he damaged his left wrist when he collided with one of his team-mates. Sunday, he started the warming-up, but just before the start he decided not to play. Therefore second setter Frank Denkers made his World Championship debut and although he didn't play badly, he forgot to give some sets to the back-row player on position six. Because The Netherlands didn't play the "pipe" attack, Russia had an easy blocking afternoon. But Dutch head-coach Toon Gerbrands was not disappointed after the loss. "Everybody had a good fighting spirit", he said. "Even we lost the game, that was a good attitude." The Netherlands dropped from the second spot four years ago to sixth position now. Russia won the match, but coach Guennadi Chipouline was not satisfied. "It is very regrettable that we missed a medal", was his comment. "Our players didn't perform as well as I had expected."

Q: The impression of today's game.
Netherlands Head Coach: Toon Gerbrands
"The players did well today in spite of difficult conditions. We had
good rallies we could concentrate on the game. The Russian team won
because of their abundant experience."
Team captain Bas Van De Goor:
"It was the chance to take the fifth place in this match, however we
missed our setter (Misha Latuhihin) due to injury. Instead of him Frank
Denkers played. He did a good job. But he tossed to the outside of the
court. It caused the defeat."
Player Latuhihin
"I was very unhappy not playing the game today because of my injury from
yesterday's game against Spain. I was waiting for the chance to play,
but found out that I couldn't. But I think Frank did a good job instead.
I'm happy to play through this tournament and I think we did our best."
Q: Misha, How did you injure yourself?
"Yesterday. When I was blocking with Mike Van De Goor. It didn't hurt at
that time but started to pain last night."
Q: Coach Gebrands how do you feel about the whole tournament?
GERBRANDS: "The whole tournament is too long. The players do not have a
chance to rest. And also the quarterfinal groups should not have been
drawn in a political way." 

Q:The impression of today's game.
Russian Head Coach: Guennadi Chipouline
"Although we won today, I'm not satisfied with the game as a whole.
Especially, we had hard times during the second and third sets. The
World Championship has ended, but we still have other international
competitions from now on. We are hoping to play better in those games.
Team captain Vadim Khamouttskikh:
"We had a very good match today. The Netherlands is a very strong team,
so we both fought with all our might. I am sorry for the Netherlands
that their setter and a few other of their players couldn't play today.
We might have a chance to play against the Netherlands in the World
League next September, so I wish them good luck.
Q: Give us your impressions about this championship as a whole.
"I totally agree with the head coach of the Netherlands. I believe there
was a problem in the management of this championship. In our pool at the
quarterfinal round, there were so many teams that could finish in the
top four in the Olympic Games. Moreover, there were too many events
during this championship, and we couldn't concentrate on our training. I
don't know how the schedules were made, but in order to hit good
services and receive well, we should have had fewer events and taken
more time on warm-up."

Match #103 - 7th/8th
BUL beat ESP 3-1 (15-12, 15-7, 12-15, 15-11) - duration 1:59
29/11/98, start time: 15:00 - Attendance: 7,150
Bulgaria beat sleepy Spain who took a Siesta

FIVB Press Release
Bulgaria beat sleepy Spain who took a Siesta

Spain looked very tired during Sunday's 7-8 play-off match at the World Volleyball Championship. The formation of head-coach Vicenzo Di Pinto played a good tournament, but had to settle for eighth place. Bulgaria was just a little bit better, coach Gueorgui Vassilev's team claiming the seventh spot by winning 15-12, 15-7, 12-15, 15-11. For Spain this result was a little disappointing even though this was the World Championship debut. The level of the match was not good. Spain was leading 12-8 in the first set, when the team collapsed. The Spaniards didn't score a point anymore in the set. When Bulgaria was two sets to zero up and was leading 9-4 in the third, it looked like the match was over. But Bulgaria then started making a lot of unforced errors and a couple of minutes later it was Spain who took the set. Nevertheless, Spain was not really back in the match. Bulgaria didn't take the pressure off the Spaniards and cruised to the seventh position.

Q:The impression of today's game.
Spain Head Coach: Vincenzo Di Pinto
"I am very proud of my team. Today's match was very special to us. And I
believe that we were able to play very well. Yesterday and today's
matches really meant a lot to us, but because of our physical tiredness,
we couldn't move speedily with blocks and defense. And those factors
allowed Bulgaria to play well. However, I am very satisfied with the
third and fourth sets. We've lost the game, but still, I'm very happy
right now." 
Spain Captain: Venancio Costa
"Bulgaria played a really good game today. Their services and blocks
were very good, and that gave us very big pressure. And because of that,
we weren't able to play well."
Spain player: Rafael Pascual
"This was the last game for the both teams. We did our best throughout
this game mentally and physically. Bulgaria exceeded us in every point.
That was the reason why they won."
Q: Give us the impressions of this championship as a whole.
Costa "Our team was able to maintain our concentration and condition
positively. And it was a good step to the next World Cup and Olympic
Pascual: "During this championship, I think the people watching our
games back home are happy with us. But this championship is only a step
toward the Olympic Games. If we had won, it could have been better for
Q: It seems that there was a difference in the level of the teams
playing in the Hamamatsu and Osaka quarterfinals. What do you think
about that?
Pascual: "I heard they decide those groups by lot, in such big games as
this championship. As a matter of fact, both teams that made to the
final match were from the other group, so maybe the other group was
stronger than ours. I think it was lucky for us that we played against
Bulgaria at the quarterfinal round."

Q: The impression of today's game.
Bulgaria Head Coach Gueorgui Vassilev
"We have a bitter experience of losing to the Spain team before, so our
players had good concentration today and played a good game in the first
and second sets. In the third set, we thought maybe we could defeat
Spain easily and we lost the concentration we had before. But on the
fourth set, we regained the concentration and won the game.
"What was good about our team, I think, is that we had a high blocking
against Spain's spikes. But the reason why the Spain team lost was
because they have battled full sets against Russia last night and was
very tired. I am happy about the young player of our team."
Bulgaria Captain: Petar Ouzounov
"This match was one of the good games. We could get the first and second
sets easily, then we got loose on the third set. Therefore we lost this
set. We braced ourselves on the fourth set. We won because of our

Match #104 - FINAL
ITA beat YUG 3-0 (15-12, 15-5, 15-10) - duration 1:47
29/11/98, start time: 18:00 - Attendance: 12,000

FIVB Press Release

Defending champions Italy scored a straight-sets victory over Yugoslavia Sunday to win the men's World Volleyball title for an unprecedented three times in succession. The Italians, who lost their quarterfinal round-robin match against Yugoslavia last week, had no trouble in winning Sunday's final 15-12, 15-5, 15-10 in front of a capacity 12,000 crowd at Tokyo's Yoyogi Stadium. Yugoslavia, 1997 European championship silver medallists, gave Italy too many chances to score easy points. One of the keys for the Italian victory was the serve-pressure. The Yugoslavs were unable to get the ball under control with the reception, preventing their star setter Nikola Grbic from being able to impose his influence. Italy could read almost all the Yugoslav sets and prepare a block like a wall. And on the attacking side, the champions were also much better than their opponents. Outside hitters Samuele Papi and Marco Bracci were outstanding. Italy scored six points more than Yugoslavia in this skill. The only time Yugoslavia mounted a real challenge was when it was almost over. They saved seven match points as they battled to stay in the game and one over-excited Italian fan ran onto the court believing his team had won. Team captain Andrea Gardini showed him the giant scoreboard which read Italy 14, Yugoslavia 10. But it was not long before the Italians were officially crowned volleyball kings for the third time following their successes of the best team. "They were superior in speed and power," he commented.

Q: The impression of today's game.
Italy Head Coach: Paulo R. De Freitas
"It was a very beautiful game. We became the champions for the
third time. We will continue to be active and continue to make
volleyball history from now on." 
Italy Captain: Andrea Gardini
"We had 12 games during three weeks and some of them were good
and some were bad. But today's game was the masterpiece of the
Italian player Pasquale Gravina
Q: You made many blocks from the beginning, but did you have any
A: "We didn't have any strategy. We saw what they would do while
playing against them, and them and then we made some changes.
Yugoslavia wasn't at their best today and I want to see them
play better. We were prepared to play a tougher game."
Player Andrea Giani
Q: You had some tough games yesterday and today. Is there any
secret to playing so well throughout this long championship
A: "There's no secret. Just train hard, practice and believe in
yourself. I can play well, because the whole team is with me."
Yugoslavia Head Coach: Mr. Zoran Gajic
Q: The impression of today's game.
A: "We lost the game, unfortunately. 11 games were the best
games we played and our team was too tired and impatient for the
last game just in front of the gold medal. On the other hand,
Italy was tough and much quicker than us and played better so
that they won.
Q: Italy seemed not give a chance to think how to battle, how do
you think about it?
A: All I can say is Italy was less tired, which let them open
all the cards they had, technically and speed.
Q: Did you ever imagine of proceeding to final match before the
tournament? And, what was the difference between the victory in
Hamamatsu and this time?
A: "We didn't have enough time to prepare for the tournament. It
was only a month. But, we did our best. And , as a result, we
proceded to the final match.
There was the difference like I said, how we were tired, we
couldn't keep the same motivation as we had in Hamamatsu, and
Italy continued to have the same motivation. I think it was the
big difference."

Player Vladimir Grbic
Q: When do you think you will get the gold medal (after winning
bronze at the Atlanta Olympics and silver at the 1997 European
A: "Maybe European Championships, World Cup, Olympic and maybe
next World Championship. I was thinking of leaving the court
after this World Championship, but now I want to make every
effort to win the gold medal no matter what the cost."

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