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Varna, Bulgaria, July 11, 2015 – Argentina claimed the third place in Group 2 of FIVB Volleyball World League 2015 after a disputed match against Belgium in Varna. The European team caught up twice before the South Americans finished it off at 3-2 (25-18, 20-25, 25-21, 18-25, 15-11) and took the 11th place in the overall final standings of the competition, leaving the opponent in the 12th. The game was also a scoring race between Argentina’s Facundo Conte (24 points) and Belgium’s Sam Deroo (23).

The Argentinean spikers made the big difference in the first set. Jose Luis Gonzalez and Facundo Conte were unstoppable in offence and kept pounding point after point towards the final 25-18. Gonzalez himself, with an elegant hit, scored the last point to give his team the lead in the match. Sam Deroo and Kevin Klinkenberg were on fire in the second set. With great performances both on the serve and on the spike they led Belgium into establishing control over the scoreboard and tying the match after 25-20.

The third set was the most competitive one, with Argentina maintaining a small lead through the most part. It was Sebastian Sole’s blocks and, again, the attacks of Conte and Gonzalez that gave the opponents a lot of hard time. A block-out by the latter ended the set at 25-21 Argentina’s way. Belgium took an early lead in the fourth set, but really broke away between the two technical time-outs. Captain Sam Deroo led his teammates into the tie-breaker, scoring five points in the fourth set, including the last one, which shaped up the 25-18 for the record.

Argentina rushed to an early 5-1 advantage in the decisive fifth set. This was already a comfortable lead that the South Americans managed to maintain through the end. The Belgians never caught up and Argentina closed the set at 15-11 and the match at 3-2.

Press Conference:

Statements from after Argentina’s 3-2 victory over Belgium in the third place match of the FIVB Volleyball World League 2015 Group 2:

Dominique Baeyens, coach of Belgium: ”Argentina deserved that victory. When you lose by 2-3 it is always frustrating. We came with lots of expectations and ambition. We finished fourth and it is disappointing. Maybe in few days we might be with different thinking, but now it is a disappointment for us.”

Sam Deroo, captain of Belgium: ”After the first set we reacted well tonight. After so many frustrations we played a nice game. Unfortunately, we started badly in the tiebreak and we lost. It is a pity, but this is volleyball...”

Julio Velasco, coach of Argentina: ”It was a very balanced match. Maybe we could have done something more from the serving line, but Belgium defended very well. It was a difficult match, the Belgians played very well. For us it was hard to play after yesterday’s defeat, but it was psychologically important for us to win.”

Javier Filardi, captain of Argentina: ”Congratulations to the Bulgarian hosts for the excellent conditions in Varna. We are very happy to be with the bronze, but we have to work a lot to be among the best.”

Third-fourth place Group 2:

Belgium-Argentina (11 July)


· Belgium and Argentina will play their first World League match against each other.

· This will also be their first encounter in any major competition.

· Belgium have won six of their eight WL matches against non-European opponents.

· Argentina have won two and lost three matches against European sides this season.


· Last season, Belgium finished in 11th place on their World League debut. They lost against France in the Final Four semi-finals (Group 2), before defeating Netherlands in straight sets in the third-place match.

· Belgium have won six of their last eight World League matches on foreign soil.

· They can lose three matches in a row for the first time since last season's final group matches and semi-final.

· Sam Deroo's 221 points are 35 points more than Belgium's next top scoring player Gert Van Wall (186).


· Argentina are still without silverware in the World League (17 appearances). Their best finish in the competition was their fourth place in 2011.

· Argentina have won four of their last six World League matches.

· Argentina have lost four of their last five World League matches played in Varna, all in straight sets.

· Argentina have won only two of their 14 World League matches beyond the Intercontinental Round and are winless in their last six since a straight-sets victory over Bulgaria in the 2011 Final Round.

· José Luis Gonzalez is their top scorer this season on 96 points.