Czech Republic hold off Cuba in 5 set thriller


Celebrations for the Czech Republic

Bratislava, Slovakia, June 24 2016 - Michal Finger was in imperious form as Czech Republic held off a Cuba fightback to take a 3-2 (19-25, 21-25, 26-24, 25-22, 11-15) in Group 2 of the World League.

After a Cuban fightback, Finger led from the front with a game high 24 points see his side home with the win, whilst Aberhan Gavilan was on hand for Cuba to score 17 points for his side, in a losing effort.

The first set began with Cuba struggling to find their foothold in the game as Finger's early scoring put the Czech Republic side on the front foot. Always struggling to reduce the deficit, the European side were on hand to take the opening set 25-19 for a 1 set lead.

The second set was strikingly similar to the first as Cuba were again falling behind their opponents who were intent on wrapping up a straight sets victory. Finger was continuing his fine form from the previous weekend and led the Czechs to a 2-0 set lead with a 25-21 win.

Cuba's fightback began in earnest as a third set was tight throughout with neither side able to pull away from their opponents. This enabled the Cuban's to gain confidence and they took the set to a tie-break, sneaking the third set 26-24 to cut the lead to 2-1.

The fourth set again showed that both sides were evenly matched and it would come down to more brilliance to settle the toe. Abrahan Gavilan was keeping Cuba in the game and took the match into a decider thanks to a strong display of spiking at the net.

Going into the tie-break the momentum was with Cuba but there comeback had lost them some impetus as tiredness set in and the Czech Republic led by Finger re-grouped to take the decider 15-11 in a thrilling match in Group 2 of the World League. 


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