Rolando Cepeda scored an equal tournament-high 28 points in Cuba's 3-2 Pool C win against Argentina
Mendoza, Argentina, May 30, 2015 - Rolando Cepeda scored an equal tournament-high 28 points on Saturday as Cuba beat Argentina 3-2 (17-25, 25-17, 25-21, 16-25, 15-9) in their Pool C encounter, earning their first win of the 2015 FIVB World League.
Cuba started the first set well and after a Javier Jimenez block, they led 4-3. Pablo Crer scored two successive points for Argentina to give them control of the set and after a successful Crer block, the hosts held a 16-13 advantage. Despite Cepeda’s best efforts with a set-high six points, Argentina took the opening stanza 25-17.
Trying to avoid their equal worst start to a World League with four successive losses (2002, 2013), Cuba came out firing in the second with Cepeda’s impressive attack and strong defence guiding them to a 6-0 buffer. Argentina kept in touch at 13-8, but Cepeda continued to answer for Cuba and stretched it to 16-9. It was the man of the moment Cepeda who finished the set for the visitors, giving them a 25-17 win to level the match at 1-1 and claim their first set of the 2015 World League.
With 12 points through the first two sets, Cepeda remained prominent, handing Cuba a 4-2 lead after a successful service point. The visitors maintained their ascendancy and with Cepeda scoring freely throughout the third set to take his match tally to 21, Cuba took a 2-1 lead with a 25-21 second-set win. After a game-high 14 points the night before, Nicolas Bruno was lively at the start of the fourth, helping the home side to an 8-4 lead at the first TTO. Several Cuba errors assisted Argentina’s cause and via a classic Bruno block, the hosts won the fourth 25-16 to send the match to a tie-breaker.
The fifth set was a tense affair and after Argentina took a 5-4 lead, Cuba stormed back in to proceedings and despite a red card to Jimenez for celebrating too enthusiastically at 11-7, Cuba took the set 15-9 and the match 3-2 for their first win of the 2015 FIVB World League.
See the full match statistics, match text commentary and photo gallery here