SPORTS

Greece loses third successive game in the World League

The national men’s volleyball team’s hopes of a solid showing at the World League finals in Madrid hit rock bottom yesterday following Greece’s third successive defeat in as many games. Greece was outplayed by Serbia-Montenegro and lost 3-1 (26-24, 25-15, 15-25, 25-21). Greece’s aspirations for a semifinal berth in the tournament had already been eradicated by a 3-1 defeat in its previous game against the competition’s host side, Spain, prompting lackluster play. In its opening game, Greece lost to the Czech Republic. Serbia-Montenegro secured a semifinal berth with an undefeated run in group play. Commenting on Greece’s performance, coach Stelios Prosalikas said he hoped the national side would learn from its mistakes. He also reminded of the high standard of competition confronted by Greece. «We saw where our weaknesses lie through these three games and will rectify them,» Prosalikas said. «The degree of difficulty at World League games is high. We saw how Russia, considered a favorite, lost 3-1 to Bulgaria and was eliminated in the other group,» he added. With its expectations at the World League event cut short, Greece will begin focusing on its next challenge, the European Championships in Germany, which begin early in September. This tournament will be Greece’s final major competition ahead of next summer’s Athens Olympics. «Participating in the World League finals was good for us,» Prosalikas said. «It’s very important that we made the final eight.»