Jan Hadrava of the Czech Republic tries to get past Portugal's Joao Simoes last time the two sides met in an FIVB competition, as both vie for a spot in the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
Lausanne, Switzerland, June 19, 2018 - Portugal, Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic, Estonia and Kazakhstan gather this week in Matosinhos, just north of Porto, where Portugal host the 2018 FIVB Men's Volleyball Challenger Cup, starting Wednesday, to determine one team to gain promotion to the 2019 FIVB Volleyball Nations League.
The winner of the Volleyball Challenger Cup, a new competition to complement the Volleyball Nations League, gets promotion to next year's edition, replacing the bottom-ranked of the Challenger teams in the VNL.
Australia, Bulgaria, Canada, Korea are this year's Challenger Teams in the VNL. After Week 4 of the VNL, Korea are bottom of the table, with no chance of catching up with any of the other contenders in their last three remaining matches of pool play.
The six participating teams in the Volleyball Challenger Cup (1 host and 5 teams from continental VCC qualification tournaments - two from Europe and one each from Asia, South American and North Central America & Caribbean) will be divided into two pools of three. The top two of each pool will meet in crosswise semifinals, followed by the bronze medal match and final.
Pool A: Portugal, Estonia, Kazakhstan.
Pool B: Chile, Cuba, Czech Republic.
Full schedule of the 2018 FIVB Men's Volleyball Challenger Cup in Matosinhos (all times local, GMT+1):
Wednesday, 20 June:
18:00 - Cuba v Czech Republic
21:00 - Portugal v Estonia
Thursday, 21 June:
18:00 - Estonia v Kazakhstan
21:00 - Czech Republic v Chile
Friday, 22 June:
18:00 - Chile v Cuba
21:00 - Kazakhstan v Portugal
Saturday, 23 June:
15:00 - Semifinal 1A v 2B
18:00 - Semifinal 1B v 2A
Sunday, 24 June:
15:00 - Bronze medal match
18:00 - Final