Posts by ike74ph

    I don't think it has to do with politics. Maybe they're just too tired for another tournament or they don't have funds for the 2009 Pan Am and/or the 2010 Grand Prix. I reckon they'd rather stay home. I think it's going to be a bad mistake skipping the Grand Prix next year. Not when they need tournament experience more than ever. Most of the players are new to the 1st 6 spots, except for Carillo, and Santos.

    Why is Calderon not in the NT line for their WCh qualification tournament. Salas has taken her place. Is it because of her father's demise and she had to return home?

    Cuba needs to improve a lot. For starters, Calderon and Carcases can't dig. Several balls went to their direction and I couldn't remember them getting a good dig. Carcases also can't make a kill especially when the block is waiting for her. It was easy for the DOM defenders to pick up the ball after hitting the block. Either she hits smarter or hits stronger. Calderon is better at this but not much. In the 4th and 5th set, they kept on going to the outside hitters but they coulldn't terminate. The blocking is also dismal. Cuba can't stop de la Cruz when it mattered. As for their service errors, it had to come at a bad time when the set was closing. X(


    Overall, Cuba looks like a 2nd rate team rather than an Olympic semi-finalist. They played to DOM's game and did not dictate the pace. Ruiz's departure had a big hole in their reception, floor defense, and offense. Other players should step up. I believe Carcases and Calderon need to improve quickly or else Cuba will suffer defeats more frequently. At the same time, they should improve their blocking. As for the setters, may more variety and deception.


    :thumbdown:

    I was concentrating on Cuba's performance so I can only give you impressions of Turkey's game. In my opinion, Turkey played consistently despite the upsurge of Cuban performance especially in the 4th set. They ambushed Cuba in the 1st set with their floater serves, soft spikes, and timed blocks on the outside. In the 2nd set, they led for most of the set but could not receive Salas' serves just when they were about to end the set. Cuba was able to turn the game around and win. In the 3rd set, after a huge Cuban lead, Turkey was able to close the gap but still couldn't win. In the 4th set, Turkey succumbed to Cuba's power, especially with Santos' serves.


    Turkey's players were cheerful for most of the game until Cuba really opened a huge lead. But the pressure was on Cuba and it showed in their faces. Turkey plays like a typical European team. But it really lacks slides behind the setter and back row attacks. They were also unable to defend against quick attacks in the middle.


    I do think Turkey has a lot of potential and only needs more experience to be able to rise in its level of play.


    :drink:

    I don't have much confidence in the Cuban team right now given an awful performance today. They had very poor reception and digging. Apparently they couldn't shake off this deficiency since the Olympics. Turkey kept on putting balls where there were not defenders using soft spikes. Their serves were also inconsistent as they made made errors.


    It was fortunate that Salas was able to turn the game around in the 2nd set. If not for her, Cuba would have lost 0-3. I guess floaters and short serves were Turkey's achilles heel. Later, Santos also served rockets at Turkey. So if the Cubans can get their serving game right, it's going to be tough playing them. What also worked consistently with Cuba was their quick attacks. Only 1 was blocked (Silva) but she was a subsitute player.


    I hope their new coaching staff, which now includes Regla Torres, would be able to turn up the team's performance. If they can just get their reception, digging, and blocking right, then Cuba can be on top again. Also Calderon and Carcases need work on hitting high balls. They aren't good at converting it to points.

    Maybe Ramirez is taking a break this year like Costa in 1997.


    I still think 6-2 is a successful style for Cuba because it has many good spikers. To succeed they have to improve on reception, setting, blocking, and floor defense. They might also add the middle high set in their repertoire to give more chances to the side hitters. Their attack can get so stale despite their talent so they have to do something mentally to their offense work. The 2008 team did not have the magic of the 90's team where victory was almost assured. The team this decade can't adjust to the opponent's play anymore.

    According to the IOC website, Yumilka Ruiz was elected by the athletes to be part of the IOC Athletes Commission. I was waiting for her to be introduced in the Closing Ceremonies w/ the other elected athletes but she didn't show up. Any idea what why? Did they already leave for Cuba at that time? Or did she decline the position?



    :olympia:

    I think Cuba would again improve their hitting, serving and athleticism in order to come out on top. They'll just have gain more experience and team cohesion playing at home, They're not in the Grand Prix in 2009. Hopefully, they can gain mental and psychological toughness. As for defense, that'll come with more experience. But really have to do something w/ their reception fast. It wasn't much of a problem in the 90's because Luis and Bell could hit very high sets successfully. I don't see Ruiz, Calderon, and Carcases able to do the same. Again, maybe they'll just be training on better outside hitting. I don't see them abandoning the 6-2 for 5-1. It's their tradition and it suits their culture and athletic ability. Also, its what sets them apart from other teams. If they didn't have the wonderful symmetry of 6-2, I wouldn't have been a fan.




    :olympia:

    Do you think it is surprise, that USA beat Cuba? I don't think so. Both teams have been playing well that tournament, but Americans performance has been just great since match against Poland. So, I am rather not surprised, maybe a little, because of no set for Cuba :whistle:
    Anyway: two medals for USA in volleyball? It is very possible...


    In case you forgot, USA already won the Women's Beach Volleyball title.


    It was really surprising that Cuba lost in 3 sets, I agree. The USA has really been steady and their players more experienced. Ah-Mow, Scott-Aruda, and Tom had been playing in 2000 and their performance has been steady since then. Cuba 's has been up and down since Aguero's defection. They have only been successful lately only because Perdomo came back and they were hitting and serving more successfully. But defense? That will take 2 years.
    :drink:

    You may have a point, ike74ph, but after seeing Cuba's performance against Serbia and the Chinese performance against Russia, I am even more confident about a Brazilian victory.
    Besides, with Fofão on court, Brazil NEVER lost to China. The results of the last matches between Brazil and China are also favourable for Brazil.


    I acknowldege the match against China will be tough, but I am really confident Brazil will advance to the finals.


    When it comes to the US team, anything can happen in the semifinal match against Cuba. If US serves well, they will surely win, cause reception is Cuba's weak point.


    Brazil has better chances, I admit but this OG edition has been quite a roller coaster like Athens. Brazil has played on cruise control and hasn't been pushed so far. On the other hand, I'd say Cuba and USA have reception problems. But the Cubans served better in this tournament and has played more consistently. But who knows? Anything can go wrong. That's why I'm still nervous about Cuba's chances.


    :olympia: