Cuba spoils Japan's hometown party with tiebreak win in Osaka


Cuba had reason to celebrate, picking up a tough win vs Japan in Osaka

Osaka, Japan, June 18, 2016 - Japan hosted Cuba in day 2 action of the 2016 FIVB World League tournament. With the hometown crowd behind them, Japan played strong against a tough Cuban team pushing them to a tie-break. But when the dust cleared on a somewhat chaotic match, Cuba emerged the victors, picking up their second win in as many days, 3-2 (27-25, 21-25, 16-25, 30-28, 15-11).

Rodolfo Sanchez, coach of Cuba: I was happy with our result, but I think our team could have definitely played better. In the first set we played well, but Japan played their game in the second. In the third, we weren’t making good decisions at all. In the fourth we really came together to take the match back, and that helped us get some momentum to bring into the tiebreak to win the match.

Masashi Nambu, coach of Japan: Cuba knew our weak point, for example our small setters they could take advantage of. I used some inexperienced players like Takahashi and Watanabe. For Watanabe I think this was a very fast match. I know our young players need more improvement in international play, and so I’ll continue to use some of them in this tournament to give them that experience.

Rolando Cepeda Abreu, captain of Cuba: We are satisfied with this win, because Japan is always difficult. Our first set was good, but in the second and third we didn’t perform well, and the result showed that. In the first set and fifth we played more together as one, so we were feeling good enough to turn around a bad situation.

Kunihiro Shimizu, captain of Japan: When we could win break points we were good, but when we gave them the break points like in the first and fifth set, we didn’t do as well.


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