Nikolay Penchev led all the scorers with 14 points.
Varna, Bulgaria, September 14, 2018 – Co-hosts Bulgaria got back to winning ways after beating Puerto Rico 3-0 (25-16, 25-18, 25-21) in Pool D and got through to the second round of the 2018 Men’s Volleyball World Championship. FIVB President Dr. Ary S. Graça accompanied by Bulgarian volleyball federation President Dancho Lazarov were in attendance in the Palace of Culture and Sports in Varna alongside 4700 fans.
In an inevitably somber mood after last night’s defeat the hosts made two changes in the starting line-up. Nikolay Penchev replaced Skrimov who missed the game with a calf strain. In the middle blocker position Svetoslav Gotsev made his first start of the championship instead of Nikolay Nikolov. After six ties to open the match Bulgaria went on a 10-3 streak. Solo block by Svetoslav Gotsev got the final score – 25-16 for the most convincing Bulgarian win at a World Championship in its last 40 sets played!
The difference allowed head coach Plamen Konstantinov to get to the deeper parts of his bench. Teodor “Air Teddy” Todorov made his first appearance at the championship early in the second set and quickly accounted with two excellent blocks. Rozalin Penchev came on later and got the winning point for 25-18 with a spike.
Puerto Rico finally showed signs of resistance. In the third set guests led 7:5 before two spikes and two aces by Nikolay Penchev started the turnaround. Bulgaria won 9 of the next 11 points and cruised to a 25-21 victory. With two wins in their first three matches the co-hosts are already guaranteed a spot in Round 2 of the 2018 Men’s Volleyball World Championship.
Nikolay Penchev and Rozalin Penchev became the first brothers to be on the court at the same time for Bulgaria in a World Championship in almost quarter of a century. Nikolay led all the scorers with 14 points (8 spikes, 3 blocks, 3 aces), Rozalin finished with 6.