Brazil spikers deliver strong performance in three-set triumph over Japan

Fivb, Kyodo

Brazil overpowered Japan in straight sets (25-17, 25-23, 25-18) in their round-robin volleyball match at the FIVB Men’s Grand Champions Cup on Friday.

Brazil, ranked No. 1 in the world, just had too much power on offense and defense for the host nation. The Brazilians pounded spikes and drilled several wicked serves on the way to a comprehensive victory.

With the triumph, Brazil moved to 3-0, while Japan fell to 1-2.

The match marked the sixth time the countries have played in the World Grand Champions Cup and 40th in all competitions. Brazil is 6-0 against Japan in the WGCC and 30-10 all time.

Marques Fonteles sparked Brazil with 12 points. Wallace De Souza contributed 11 points in the win at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium.

Yu Koshikawa led Japan with 13 points, while Yusuke Ishijima added 10.

“It was a good match. We started strong and played tactically well,” Brazil coach Bernardo Rezende said. “They played better in the second set and the put pressure on us. We made some mistakes on attack in the second set.

“I like the intensity we are playing with. We may not have as much talent as in the past, but the intensity is good. We are playing the Brazilian way. Tomorrow will be a great test for us against Russia.”

Japan challenged Brazil in the second set, but could not muster enough force to overtake it.

Brazil passed and received well throughout the match in a clinical performance. Japan displayed stretches of good play but they were too infrequent to made a difference.

Japan coach Gary Sato said, “We had a good early practice today and the players had a meeting. They figured out what they needed to do.

“Things clicked for us in the second set. We usually don’t face this kind of speed in this region, so we have to adjust to that.

“We executed some things well. The players are feeling more comfortable.”

Despite the loss, Sato recognizes the value of facing top foes.

“This is a good tournament for us. We have to play against the best to improve,” he said.

Ishijima fired a spike long as Brazil seized a 5-2 lead in the first set. Wallace soared for a spike and Brazil went up 7-4. The South Americans led 8-4 at the first TTO. A spike by Mauricio Borges gave Brazil a six-point advantage at 11-5. A reception error by Japan ballooned Brazil’s lead to 16-8 at the second TTO.

A spike by Yamamura made it 18-10 as Japan tried to keep contact. It was 20-12 after a Fukuzawa spike. A block by Mauricio made it 21-12. Evandro Guerra flew in for a spike and Brazil was three points from the seet at 22-13. Sidnei Dos Santos took a quick pass for a kill and it was set point at 24-16.

Marques gave Brazil the set 25-17 with a quick spike. Mauricio and Sidnei had five points each in the set.

In the second set, Lukas Saatkamp drove a spike down the middle to stake Brazil to a 5-2 lead. A blast by Bruno Rezende sent Brazil into the first TTO up 8-4. Eder Carbonera’s spike took it to 10-6. A powerful spike by Marques Fonteles nearly leveled a Japan player and made it 12-8. A soft return by Koshikawa was tipped by Brazil and Japan moved within two at 13-11. A one-handed return by Koshikawa made it 13-12.

A service ace by Koshikawa tied it 14-14 and Japan continued to surge. Brazil came back with two straight points and was on top 16-14 at the second TTO.

Wallace struck another spike as Brazil stayed ahead 19-18. Japan tied the score several times, but could never pull ahead in the set. Brazil led 21-19 after Japan sent a serve long. A Yamamoto spike again drew Japan within one at 22-21. A nice dink by

Maurico put Brazil within two points of the set at 23-21. A missed spike by Eder made it 23-23, but Brazil came back and took the set 25-23 on a spike by Wallace.

In other games, United States beat Italy 3-2 in a five-set thriller 25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 28-26, 15-13, while Olympic gold medalist Russia beat Iran 25-23, 25-23, 25-19.