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CAZOVA World Championship qualifiers resume in Martinique


RIVIERE-SALEE, Martinique, October  20, 2016 - The journey to the FIVB Men's World Championship 2018 will resume on Saturday October 22, when Martinique plays host to Group A of the First Round of qualifiers which also serves as a qualification tournament to the Caribbean Zonal Volleyball Championship 2017 to be hosted by two-time reigning champions Trinidad and Tobago next year.


Already through to the CAZOVA eight-team finals in Port-of-Spain are seventh ranked regional team Haiti, which topped a four-team round-robin series on home soil in early July ahead of fellow qualifiers, fifth ranked Curacao, while US Virgin Islands and Cayman Islands were third and fourth respectively and did not qualify.


Now almost three months later, ninth ranked Martinique will be hoping to duplicate the feat of the Haitians and win its three-team round-robin qualifying series ahead of third ranked former Caribbean champions Bahamas and eighth seeded Aruba.


Bonaire was expected to be the fourth team, but pulled out of the competition due to financial reasons brought on by Hurricane Matthew last month.


Despite only three teams being involved at the Palais Des Sports, Des Riviere Salee the same qualification format will still apply with each team facing each other once at the end of which the top two teams will advance to the next round of the World Championship qualifiers as well as the CAZOVA Championships in T&T next year.


For the much more experienced Bahamas squad it will mark the start of what is hope a campaign that ends with a spot at the World Championship after they managed to reach the penultimate round of qualification to Poland 2014.


This after Bahamas finished third in the penultimate round of NORECA qualifiers, behind Mexico and Puerto Rico in their four-team pool.


Martinique meanwhile was ousted at the first hurdle after a third placed finish behind Guatemala and Suriname while Aruba reached the Second Round of qualification.