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13 June 2012
Outstanding Cubans too strong for India
Berlin, Germany, June 10, 2012 – World ranked 5 Cuba keeps the chance to qualify for the Olympic Games. After succumbing to Germany in five dramatic sets on Saturday, the Cubans beat underdog India, who stayed without a victory against the three rivals, with 3-0 (25-12, 25-22, 25-20) in the third and final day of the FIVB Men’s World Olympic Qualification Tournament held at Max- Schmeling Hall in Berlin, Germany on Sunday. Cuba now has to await the result of the match between Germany, undefeated yet, and the Czech Republic.
Rolando Cepeda led Cuba’s and match scorers with 23 points, while India captain Singh Gurinder was the best in his team (11 pts)
The victory raised Cuba's record to 2-1, while India dropped to 0-3 at the end of the tournament.
It was the first match ever between Cuba and India. The teams never played before in any FIVB competition and now Cuba leads the head to head matches 1-0.
As expected world vice champions Cuba quickly took the lead in the first set and didn´t give India a chance to score. To the first technical time out India was down with zero points and could score first when the Cubans were already leading with 11 points. Cuba left no doubt to be the superior team and extended the lead to a 25-12 set win demonstrating a great defense and strong spikes. Especially Cuba´s Rolando Cepeda was showing his a-game scoring 11 points.
Unlike before India got to keep up better with the Cuban team in the second set and initially took a little lead. Cuba didn´t get worked up and equated at 9-9. However, they didn´t manage to pull clear of the Indians this time until the final phase of the set. It was an unforced error in India´s defense that caused the 25-22 for Cuba.
India succeeded keeping pace with Cuba once again in the beginning of the third set. But Cuba, intending to end the match in quick sets, got to improve their performance and took advance over India again, showing great services and attacks. India´s players were still trying hard to retard the end of the match but couldn´t prevent another set loss, Isbel Mesa finally converted the match point for Cuba with a strong strike through the middle.
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