Head Coaches Jorge Azair (MEX), Mauro Marasciulo (PER), David Lungaho (KEN), Eduardo Guillaume (COL)
The World Grand Prix opening weekend is ready to get underway in the City of Monterrey, Mexico at the Nuevo Leon Unido Gymnasium from June 26-28 with Pool 0 matches between Colombia, Kenya, Peru and host Mexico.
The coaches attending the pre-tournament press conference in Monterrey agreed there are similarities between the four teams participating, making the weekend a challenging one for each team.
Colombia coach, Argentinian Eduardo Guilaume said: “This group is very homogenous; we have just played the Pan American Cup and we know the other teams well, except Kenya. Our heart is set on reaching the Final Four, but mostly on making this first World Grand Prix experience a learning one. The team must take advantage of using the competition for more exposure; the players must be motivated to perform better with each match, especially ahead of the Olympic Qualification tournament in January.”
Coach David Lungaho of Kenya said he is presenting an experienced team, with players who have been together for five years: “Only one player is missing from last year’s Grand Prix team, and we are all excited to be back in Mexico. We expect a good competition and we are aware that we must work hard to be in the Final Four. The team are preparing for their World Cup and Olympic Qualification campaign.”
For Peru’s coach, Brazilian Mauro Marasciulo, this year is very important for Peruvian volleyball: “We have many competitions ahead; we are focused on our players' development and their improvement. It is a constant battle because it is difficult for the players to keep the same intensity and keep concentrated during each match. Our main objective is to improve our performance and move a step forward in reaching a higher level than the one we are at now.”
For Coach Jorge Azair of Mexico, his team is in a transitional stage: “The group has suffered changes and the team has new players, younger ones who are in need of more experience. It is a challenging process, but we need to be patient and work to improve in international competitions; we need to move up in the world ranking for better opportunities.”