Italian coach Gianlorenzo Blengini celebrates with his staff after the victory over United States on Tuesday
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, August 9, 2016 – Italian Coach Gianlorenzo Blengini credited the players who came from the bench to contribute to the victory over United States in their men’s volleyball match at Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Tuesday.
Blengini refused to consider them as bench players saying that to him they are all front-liners as valuable as the starters.
Gianlorenzo Blengini, Coach of Italy: I am really pleased with the result against a bi squad like USA that was coming back to play as hard as possible after losing their first match. Approaching the match and getting the players focused was our major difficulty. I really have to give credit to the players who came from the bench and did a good job. I really don´t consider them as bench players because they are front row players.
On the ankle injury of Emanuele Birarelli:
I can’t comment right now about the extension of the injury. I hope it is not serious, but again we have to wait and see how he is next morning.
Simone Butti, Player of Italy: It has been a great match against a big team. We were very focused to play point by point and stayed that way after the injury of Birarelli.
John Speraw, Coach of United States: I am disappointed for not coming up with the victory but we played better than against Canada. We need to regroup for our next match against Brazil. We have been in this situation in the past.
David Lee, Captain of United States: It is a tough loss. We have come up short in our first two matches. I am proud of my team because we competed. We are getting better and I hope we can play better against Brazil.
Osmany Juantorena, Player of Italy: It’s unfortunate that my team-mate Emanuele (Birarelli) got injured in this match. He is a key player and I feel sad about what happened to him. On the other hand, I am glad that we were able to win this match because the United States is a very strong team. It’s an important victory for us.
Simone Gianelli, Player of Italy: Our victory today is the best present of my life. I turned 20 today and to be here in the Olympic Games is an amazing thing. We played well against USA and they are a very good team. After their match against Canada, we know they want to earn the victory today. We have a good team and everyone in the team helped out to get the victory. We made some mistakes in the last set, but we improved our plays and we stayed focused.”
Taylor Sander, Player of USA: It was a good match. It could have gone either side. We’re happy with the way we played. There were few points from winning that match. It was a great match against Italy. We’re going to fight back.