Argentina endured their five-set standoff against Venezuela in the first round of the FIVB Volleyball Men's World Cup at Hamamatsu Arena on Wednesday
Cristian Poglajen and Facundo Conte contributed 18 and 17 points, respectively, for the Argentine win, while Kervin Pinerua had a good offensive game with 22 points.
Venezuela took advantage of the situation when Argentina’s main hitter Conte and Luciano De Cecco did not start in the first set. The South Americans gained the upper hand in the first frame at 21-19. Then coach Julio Velasco sent Conte and De Cecco to change the tempo of the match and succeeded at that. Both squads fought fiercely in the extended opening set but the Venezuelans prevailed 32-30.
Argentina came back with an easy victory in the second set 25-15, but Venezuela came from behind to win in the third set 26-24. The Argentines had some difficulty preventing hitter Pinerua’s strong spikes in the third set, as the Venezuelan intensity-raiser pushed his team to gain the 2-1 set-advantage. In the fourth set, Argentina dictated the tempo but Conte had a bad fall that halted play. When play resumed, Conte stayed in the game and helped out his team to win 25-13 and force a tiebreaker. Argentina showed better focus than Venezuela and held the latter scoreless after their 10th point to secure set and match 15-10.