Cuba beat Serbia to reach final of men's volleyball worlds

14:14, October 10, 2010      

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Cuba's players and coach celebrate after winning the semi-final against Serbia at the 2010 FIVB Men's Volleyball World Championship in Rome, Italy, Oct. 9, 2010. Cuba won 3-2. (Xinhua/Chen Haitong)

Serbian spiker Ivan Miljkovic scored a phenomenal haul of 30 points, but thas was not enough to stop Cuba marching into the final of the men's volleyball world championship with a 3-2 win on Saturday.

Thanks to the youngest player in the tournament Wilfredo Leon, who landed 23 points, Cuba beat the odds to hold off Serbia 22-25, 25-17, 31-29, 22-25, 16-14.

Yoandy Leal scored 21 points, "Captain Fantastic" Robertlandy Simon contributed 17 times for the winning side.

With the win, Cuba snapped a dismal run of eight defeats in the last 10 matches against Serbia.

"Today Cuba were flawless, and never made any mistakes, even if they risked too much," said Serbia captain Nikola Grbic. "On the other hand, we had an excellent chance to win the third and fifth sets but the Cuban blocking machine and defense was extremely efficient."

Cuba made a total of 17 successful blocks compared with Serbia's eight.

"The match with Serbia was quite difficult, but I have to admit that we were lucky in winning the match," said Simon.

"The Championship is like a war, we still miss the last battle. At the beginning we didn't think we would have reached the final. We are used to playing day by day," he said.

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