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Argentina played at the same level of one of the best teams of the world

Hong Kong, China, August 10, 2013 — China maintained its top form and ruled Argentina straight sets (25-17, 26-24, 25-22), in spite of a difficult challenge put on by their opponents in Pool I of the FIVB Volleyball World Grand Prix at the Hong Kong Coliseum on Saturday. Zeng Chunlei and Yang Junjing led China as they teamed up to bombard the defence of Argentina with their strong attacks. Zeng top scores with 16 points while Yang scored 14 points.

The first set led to an exciting start as both teams showed top form. Argentina led by as much as two points but China immediately wiped out the lead and took back the momentum entering the first technical timeout with an 8-6 advantage. Argentina committed a series of errors which China took advantage of to build a bigger lead. As Emilce Sosa narrowed the gap from her quick attacks and brought back Argentina in the game, a series of errors soon followed that allowed China to close the first set 25-17.

China lost its concentration in the second set but a similar incident happened to Argentina which led to a 8-5 advantage by the former in the first technical timeout. Both teams rallied but Argentina got the better of the challenge as they took the lead and forced China to call a timeout. China regained composure and jostled with Argentina until the final moments of the second set. China showed excellent blocking and intense focus in the crucial moments that helped them put a stop Argentina's strong run 26-24.

China opened the third set with a series of strong spikes from Zhu Ting that managed to give them a 7-4 lead. Argentina fought back by changing their attack tactic by using more quick attacks and back row attacks. Paula Yamila Nizetich powerful serves tied the game at 12-all. Both teams kept each other within striking distance in the middle of the set until Argentina made errors on defence that allowed China to pull away and close the set 25-22.

Press Conference:

Argentina coach Orduna Guillermo: “Congratulations to China! We were organized and our team played better than yesterday. China is hard to play against, so it’s a good training for such high level competition. ”

Argentina captain Paula Yamila Nizetich:“I am happy because our team played well today. We’re organized and fought hard. Congratulations to China!”

China coach Lang Ping:“There’re lots of things that we can learn from Argentina. Their quick attacks are smart. They also had very good control of the ball. We had pressure from their serve thus our receives weren’t very stable. Our slow defense put us in a disadvantaged situation in view of their quick attacks. There’re lots of challenges ahead and we need to emphasize this aspect in our training. We were passive and lost 9 points to the opponent due to errors in the second set. This is not acceptable for a strong team.”

China player Zhang Lei:“Today’s match had a high value of training. We did our best even when we were lagged behind. Hopefully we will play better tomorrow.”

FIVB GRAND PRIX - WK 2: Results - Live Scoring
P2 - P3 | Photos: FeVA - FIVB