Abu Dhabi: Cuba won the Abu Dhabi International Women's Volleyball Championship along with $300,000 after coming from behind to beat Holland 3-1 (23-25, 25-16, 25-20, 25-22) in the final held on Tuesday at the Al Jazira indoor stadium.

Holland, led by captain Manon Flier, took command of the first game supported by Alice Blom in attack and Ingrid Visser and Kim Staelens in defence.

They played with considerable style and won with the Cubans playing one of their worst games.

However, following stern words from coach Antonio Perdomo Estrella, the Cubans came back strong and showed the reason they had been favourites to win the title.


They went on to trounce the Dutch team 3-1 in a thrilling game that continued for an hour and 29 minutes.

Yumillka Ruiz Luaces, Yanelis Santos, Nancy Carrello, Dami Ramirez and Rachel Sanchez were all in stunning form.

In the third-place match, Italy beat Germany 3-2 (20-25, 25-16, 16-25, 25-22, 15-11).

Holland won $200,000 Italy $100,000 and Germany $90,000.

The Best Players of the tournament included Yanelis Santos from Cuba as Best Block and Best Playmaker, Nadia Centoni from Italy as Best Striker, and Cornelia Dumler of Germany won Best Reception.

Merlo Enrico from Italy was the Best Libero, and Manon Flier from Holland won both titles of the Best Server and MVP.

"We played a poor first game but came back to win the title which was our aim," said coach Estrella, after the match.

"Holland played a good match and were a tough opponent. They have a bright future. "We had a promising start of the match but we committed some mistakes," said Avital Selinger, Holland head coach, "especially in serving and net defending in the other games.

"We lost to the tournament's best team and bearing in mind that my players are still young, I am sure that they will form a formidable team for the future."

The final was attended by Shaikh Mansour Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Presidential Affairs, President of the Al Jazira Club and patron of the championship.