Iran and Cuba to open Thursday’s battles in Rio


Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 10, 2016 - The teams of Iran and Cuba will open the third competition day of the men’s volleyball tournament at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The two sides will face each other for a Pool B game at the Maracanazinho on Thursday, each with a 0-2 win-loss record so far.

After losing to Argentina in straight sets on opening day, the Iranians managed to achieve their first ranking point in an exciting five-setter against Poland, narrowly lost by 2-3 (17-25, 23-25, 25-23, 25-20, 16-18). Seyed Mohammad Mousavi Eraghi showed some fantastic blocking. He scored eight winning blocks for a total of 18 points, which made him the most prolific player on his team.

“I think we played better than against Argentina and it is a good sign,” commented coach Raul Lozano.

“We have a good team and we are ready to fight in the next three matches, so I hope we can make it to the quarterfinals,” added Iranian player Shahram Mahmoudi.

Although they won a set against powerful Russia on Sunday, the young Cuban squad could not cope with ambitious Egypt on Tuesday and lost in straight sets – 0-3 (22-25, 15-25, 22-25). Captain Javier Jimenez was their best scorer with 10 points. Without any ranking points earned, Cuba are bottom sixth in the current standings, just behind their next opponents from Iran.

Iran managed to claim two away wins at Cuba during the Intercontinental Round of the FIVB Volleyball World League 2013. In front of 8,000 spectators in Havana on July 5 and 6, the Asian team  managed a 3-2 (24-26, 19-25, 25-19, 25-22, 16-14) and a 3-1 (22-25, 25-20, 25-18, 25-22) come-from-behind victories over their Caribbean opponents.


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