There are few things as invigorating as reunions. Crossing that missing, lost or misplaced in the past something, either by the recklessness of the casual or default by destiny, returns the images and feelings that have faded over time.
That second of wonder is worth suffering, feeling with nobody to tell you. Returning to find out what was gone or perhaps by chance had been snatched away, is enough to sustain the broken insolence of a bitter adventure.
There were two years of nostalgia. Two sour years. Without feeling addiction of the Sports City Coliseum three weekends a year. Without the warmth of its decks, nor the infinite night parade, without the boasting of players on the court and without the bustle turned into atmosphere on the nights of World Volleyball League in Havana, Cuba.
In 2013 it returns to one of ita favorite places. A very cozy home, who observed from afar as the event suffered the flight of Cuban folklore perched on the seats of the aged facility.
The World League missed Havana, its climate, the banshee-like screams that twist European and Asian floppy ears, the swells of a frantic deck, the grimaces of a mocking crocodile and the resonance of the beating of the walls that make the wooden foundations wail.
The problems with the air conditioning system of the complex led the FIVB (International Volleyball Federation) to suspend the seat till the problem was dealt with.
The lapse lasted a couple of years. The consequence. The men’s national team suffered exile. In 2011 with the chest and chin up they played all games away and yet qualified for the final round.
Last year, they had a new headquarters nearby, with an atmosphere similar but never the same: Dominican Republic offered its headquarters to the Cubans who finished in a creditable third place.
This year the World League is back, and not just what it means to play at home for the Cuban squad but also for their fans. In this period we lost the only chance we have to see Cubans in our land foreign athletes. Year after year prestigious volleyball players come and the Cuban audience enjoys them.
Cuba anchored in the strong Group B, will have in its venue Serbia from June 7 to 9, champions of the last World League and Olympic gold winners Russia, on June 28 and 30 and Iran July from 5 to 7.
It will be a challenge for the newly renovated and eternally young Cuban team. The new version of the squad will have to assume the absence of two key players: Fernando Hernandez and Henry Bell. The first decided to depart from the national team, while veteran Bell ended his active career.
The team led by DT Orlando Samuels has the task of trying to achieve stability, the balance of the good results and in its lineup. A lineup that will be diminished in offensive with the departure of these two players, so literally, everything will be on the shoulders of captain Wilfredo Leon.
With Leon as key player, Samuels will have to manage to strengthen the center line of the team and avoid the usual point cascades, the meek and ineffective floated serves and find the alternative to the percentages of field reception and defense for them to reach acceptable levels for a world class team.
Anyway, the team will again be supported by its audience, the fans and their folklore. They will feel the encouragement, as a pretext to unsheathe thunderous shots that rumble in Havana after two years of absence.