Cuba keep hopes in check despite second Copacabana win

Rio de Janeiro, August 9, 2016 – Cuba’s Nivaldo Diaz and Sergio Gonzalez recorded their second win at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Games when they beat Latvia’s Janis Smedins and Aleksandrs Samoilovs 2-1 (23-21, 21-19, 15-9) at the Copacabana Beach Arena on Tuesday. 

Here’s what they said after the match…

Sergio Gonzalez, Cuba
“It was tough in the beginning and they are a good team. We looked at how they played previously and prepared for the game based on what we saw before. We knew it would be difficult, but it turned out well and we’re improving match by match.

“There is no relaxing here. We’ve taken the first step, but can’t stop playing hard and not sit back.”

Janis Smedins, Latvia
“if you are leading 19-16 in the first set and you lose it, it is disappointing. We talked about how we were playing and we said we needed to play faster, especially with our shooting. We didn’t hit the last two balls that we should have and then the score could have been 2-0. 

“In the third they went five points ahead and they could play as they wanted to. They are good and a stable team, but we needed to show our own game and beat them.”


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