FIVB Heroes Maxim Mikhaylov and Sasa Starovic were the first to face each other at Palacio del Voleibol in Santo Domingo. On a special day for Maxim – his first time on court in this international season, and, due to absence of Taras Khtey, as team captain – neither his new status nor his efforts brought him glory. Scoring 22 points in total (20 attacks and 2 aces), he lost the game to a young Serbian team. With Starovic scoring 11 points the game ended with a 3-1 score (25:23, 20:25, 25:20, 25:23).
Two and a half hours later the nominal hosts Cuba met team Japan. The match featured another long-awaited FIVB Hero’s comeback – Kunihiro Shimizu was back on court to help his team with 23 points. However, Wilfredo Leon didn’t let him start the weekend with a victory: hosts Cuba won 3-1 (25-21, 25-20, 22-25, 25-21).
The next day presented another opportunity for Shimizu and Fukuzawa to win their first game in the World League 2012, but their hopes were dashed by the Russians, who made up for previous mistakes and proved their determination to go to Sofia with a 0-3 (22:25, 15:25, 19:25) win. Meanwhile, Mikhaylov scored his 1500th point for team Russia, reaching 5th in the ranking of the best Russians scorers.
Later in the evening the Cubans, led, as always, by FIVB Hero Wilfredo Leon took top spot in Pool A by beating the former leaders team Serbia 0-3 (19-25, 19-25, 23-25).
The action continued on Sunday, 17th of June. The Cubans played, perhaps, their best volleyball of the weekend, outclassing team Russia in practically every area of the game: Leon was the best scorer of the day with 25 points (including 7 aces), forcing Maxim and his teammates to see victory slip through their fingers 3:1 (26:24, 21:25, 25:22, 25:17).
Team Serbia’s win over Japan 0:3 (21:25, 23:25, 23:25) wasn’t enough to regain the lead in Pool A.
Another weekend is over, but there’s one more stop for the Pool A quartet – Kaliningrad, Russia. We can’t wait to see who will join teams Bulgaria and Poland in Sofia! Follow the action on FIVBheroes.com!