Bologna, Italy, September 21, 2018 - Slovenia disappointed Belgium once again at this FIVB Men’s World Championship, winning in three straight sets over them and making the situation of the Red Dragons quite difficult in Pool F, as their chances to proceed to the Final Six in Turin got slimmer.
Slobodan Kovac, head coach of Slovenia: “Everybody was talking about Belgium’s revenge, but we won. However, I am not so happy, because I think that our victory could have come even with a better result, because it was a close game. We made it difficult for our opponents, showing good skills on serve. We have progressed until now, but we still have our chances to become better. Maybe we should be even more concentrated, because if we add this component, our game will get better.”
Tine Urnaut, captain of Slovenia: “I am really happy because of this difficult win, because Belgium is a really good team. I think that the quality of our side-out was better than the one showed in the match in the first round. This was one of the main keys, because we really had difficulties in the previous matches. Our setter today played extremely good, really smart. He set the tone, but we all showed teamwork today. Brazil are a very good team. They are the Olympic champions, favourites in this group and maybe for the whole tournament. However, we focus on our side of the court – this is the most important thing. If we play on the level that we can, I hope that we can perform good and show our best.”
Andrea Anastasi, head coach of Belgium: “We missed something today. They were very good on service today and this made it difficult for us to stay in the match. In my opinion, we have to learn. We have to try to do things better and better if we want to perform better. The match with Australia is important for us in order to finish in a good position in the final standing of the tournament.”
Pieter Verhees, player of Belgium: “It was a close game in the first two sets. We were leading most of the time, with 2-3 points of advantage. We had even two chances to take a set at 24-22 and we did not take them. At this level, you pay the price if you do not score those balls. In the second set, we put some more pressure on the serve, but we also made more mistakes, so it became easier for them. In the end of this set, we came back, thanks to the good serve of Sam Deroo, and we started to believe in it. However, once again the small details made the difference, millimetres that matter. We knew that this match was very important – if we were about to go to the next round, we had to claim this victory. Now it becomes extremely difficult to make it to the next round, but we still have a small chance to do so. We have to prepare for our next matches and let’s see what happens.”