VNL: Crucial Game Against Serbia

VNL: Crucial Game Against Serbia
Fecha de publicación: 
18 June 2024
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The game we’ve been waiting for since last year, the one that can decide everything, will take place this Wednesday in Slovenia, home of the last stop of the group stage in the 2024 Nations League.

There, Cuban men's volleyball will practically play for the possibility of being the only collective team of the delegation to the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, because although there are three more games left, this direct game is worth double and is the one that cannot be lost to avoid depending on anyone.

We reached the top with a minimal disadvantage, since Cuba accumulates 250.64 points, compared to Serbia's 251.55.

A victory in three sets can open a distance of 20 points between both teams, while in five it could be 10, so the two teams will go into the pitch hard in Ljiubliana to pave direct access to Paris .

It’s true that then there would be clashes against Bulgaria, Poland, and the Slovenian hosts (the Serbs instead of the Bulgarians will face Turkey), but closing that difference will be very difficult for whichever of the two is defeated.

The Caribbean team have to wipe the slate clean from the disastrous second week, where they barely achieved one win, and the psychological work has to bear fruit to raise morale ahead of the decisive match.

Without the presence of the injured Jesús Herrera, Miguel Ángel López must step up and take advantage of Marlon Yant's good moment, and it will also be vital to recover captain Robertlandy Simón, injured in that second round.

Likewise, we must try to reduce our own mistakes, most of them in aces, to continue attacking but effectively.

Both Cubans and Serbs will then face Poles and Slovenes, who are above them on the ranking and must be inaccessible rivals, but then they are favorites against the Bulgarians and Turks, respectively, so everything is very even.

Our team showed with the games against Brazil and France that they can defeat anyone, but if they repeat the traditional mistakes they can experience in the most bitter way the end of a generation that filled men's volleyball with hope.

Although there’s a lot of talent, they will be Simón's last presentations, and the rest are in their moment of greatest maturity, I don't think that in four years they will be better, so it’s now or never for these players.

Coach Jesús Cruz must make the most of them and the promising Christian Thondike and Javier Concepción, who have strongly assumed leading roles despite their youth.

The Cuba team of the future would revolve around them, but the one of today, the one right now, cries out for the return to an event like the Olympic Games as the culmination of prestigious careers and decades of dedication on the pitch.

Translated by Amilkal Labañino / CubaSí Translation Staff

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