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Poland rallies to beat China at 2008 FIVB World League preliminaries
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08:50, June 23, 2008

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Poland revenged Saturday's 3-1 loss to host China at the second round preliminaries of the 2008 World League here on Sunday after a five-set tussle.

The Europeans, runners-up of 2006 World Championship, spent some 140 minutes to tame the Chinese 24-26, 25-15, 22-25, 25-19 and 15-12 despite the overwhelming cheers of more than 4,000 host fans.

Mariusz Wlazly led the Pole with 20 points, while Chinese attacker Yuan Zhi Contributed his team 28 points.

Earlier in the same group of China and Poland, Egypt scored two3-1 wins over Japan on Friday and Saturday, ranking the top of the group. Poland overtook China to take the second place and Japan fell to the last with a 1-3 win-loss record.

"We have made some changes on players and strategies, especially on receiving, over the past 24 hours and my players made fewer mistakes than yesterday. That's why we won," said Raul L. Loan, head coach of Poland.

Poland started strongly to lead 6-2 at the opener with the ace serves of Daniel Plinski. Mariusz Wlazly and Lukasz Kadziewicz swatted to improve the Polish lead to 8-5.

With fast attack and unyielding defense, China, however, managed to follow closely with Poland from 11-13 to 20-23, when the fierce spikes and attacker Yuan Zhi and Shen Qiong helped the host score four points consecutively to take over the lead 24-23.

The Pole pulled back one point, but only saw the determined Chinese took the set 26-24 with a Shen's spike and a triple-block.

However, Poland rallied quickly to take a comfortable 5-0 lead at the second set. The bombard of attackers Plinski Daniel, Lukasz Kadziewicz and Mariusz Wlazly, help the team enlarge the gap from 12-4 to 22-13, while China were shriveled at the net in front of the taller opponents.

The Pole scored three out of the last five points to claim the second set 25-15 after the spike from Chinese Guo Peng was blocked.

The up-and-down of China repeated at the third and the fourth sets. The team wasted an early 2-1 win by losing the fourth set 19-25.

In the decider, Chinese players still found no way to deal with the Pole's high attack and their frequent serve errors help Poland seal the victory 15-12.

"It's tough game. The loss today is valuable as it exposed our immature techniques and skills, which is the exact problem that we're trying to resolve before the August Olympic Games," said China's head coach Zhou Jian'an.

China will meet Egypt at the next round preliminaries on June 28 and 29 at Hangzhou, capital of east China's Zhejiang Province, while Poland will take on Japan.

Sixteen teams in this year's World League in four pools. China, Which finishes in the ninth place in the event last year, is grouped with Poland, Egypt and Japan in Pool D in the intercontinental round.

Six teams will compete in the final round in Rio de Janeiro of Brazil in July.

Source:Xinhua



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