Varna, Bulgaria, September 16, 2018 – Bulgaria had its most complete performance of the 2018 FIVB Men’s World Championship destroying Cuba 3-0 (25-22, 25-16, 25-18) in Varna. The result eliminated Central Americans from further contention while the co-hosts retained chances to top Pool D.
It was the third championship in a row in which Bulgaria faced Cuba. After the Heartbreak of Florence (2-3, 2010) and Wroclaw Debacle (0-3, 2014) the revenge for the home team was sweet. And swift.
Cuba managed to stay competitive only through the second technical timeout of the opening set. But a 5-1 series put Bulgaria 20-15 ahead before Viktor Yosifov shut the door on a late Cuban comeback attempt.
Middle part was the key in Set 2 also. Methodically Bulgaria surged further and further ahead. The Lions led 14-10 then 19-12 and soon the advantage climbed to 10 points. And the young Cubans were helpless to do anything to change the momentum.
Captain Yosifov set the tone in Set 3, recording a 112 km/h ace for a 7-4 lead. Cuba managed to come within two points at 8-10 but a 10-4 series for the home team erased any doubts about the final outcome. Substitute Rozalin Penchev scored the final point assuring Bulgaria will stay at home for Round 2.
Nikolay Uchikov was the only Bulgarian with double digit points, scoring 17. Gotsev and Bratoev each finished with 9.