Bratislava, Slovakia, June 23 2016 - Stefan Chrtiansky delights home fans with 13 points, ensuring Slovakia take a 3-1 (25-19, 25-23, 22-25, 25-22) win over Cuba in Pool D, Group 2 of the World League.
An all-round team performance from the European side, with points contributions from Emanuel Kohut (12) and Matej Patak (12), ensured they took the opening win of the weekend against a plucky Cuba side, led in scoring from Javier Scull, with 18 points.
In front of an impressive attendance of nearly three thousand fans, including those who took the long trip from Cuba, Slovakia got off to the perfect start with some impressive attacking at the net, as Chrtiansky began to lead from the front, taking his team to a first set win with a 25-19 win.
Buoyed by their first set win, the European side began to make their mark on the second set but were pegged back by their Cuban opponents. Both sides exchanged the lead throughout the second set before Slovakia, cheered on by a vocal home support, edged in front to lead 2-0 with a 25-23 win.
Cuba were intent on extending the game and led the third set from the start, though Slovakia continued to keep the deficit at a manageable level. With temperatures soaring in the arena, the tense nature of the game, saw the set level as it went into its critical stage. Cuba focused their attack once again to take the third set 25-22 and keep the game in the balance.
The fourth set began with both teams under heavy pressure from the opposition at the net, and the set was tight, with both teams objectives at a crucial stage of the match. At 15-10 it looked increasingly likely that Slovakia would take the set. However Cuba began to claw the deficit back and at 22-19, there was still hope, but the European side held on to seal a 3-1 victory with a 25-22 win.