Mon, Aug 06, 2007 - Page 18 News List

Cubans power to a straight-sets victory against Kazakhstan

AFP, TOKYO

Former Olympic champions Cuba powered to a straight-sets victory over competition newcomers Kazakhstan in the World Grand Prix women's volleyball tournament on Tokyo on Saturday.

The Cuban women, the three-time Olympic gold medalists since 1992, eased aside the Kazakhs 25-17, 25-17, 25-14 in just one hour for their second straight win here.

In the second match of the day, Japan whipped the Dominican Republic 25-19, 25-11, 25-22 to remain unbeaten and to challenge Cuba on the final day of competition.

Nancy Camillo de la Paz, the top scorer in Friday's game, again became Cuba's trailblazer with 12 points, while Kenia Cancaces Open and Yanelis Santos Allegne added 11 each.

"Our serves worked very well to destroy the defense of Kazakhstan, and our defense was very good, especially blocking," said Cuban coach Antonio Estrella Perdomo.

"But we must improve all the skills, service, reception and defense, to play well in the Beijing Olympics," said Perdomo, whose team ended third in the Athens Olympics.

For Kazakhstan, who made their Grand Prix debut this week, it was their second straight defeat in the four-team Group A competition.

Twelve teams are competing in the Grand Prix series this season and the top five teams as well as hosts China will reach the Grand Prix Final to be played in Ningbo, China, from Aug. 22 to Aug. 26.

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