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Volleyball: Brazil secure fourth Grand Champions Cup title in Japan

Brazil’s victory in the World Grand Champions Cup in Kyoto and Tokyo added to their compatriots’ win in last week’s women’s tournament, also in Japan. Photo: FIVB.

Brazil’s victory in the World Grand Champions Cup in Kyoto and Tokyo added to their compatriots’ win in last week’s women’s tournament, also in Japan. Photo: FIVB.

November 24, 2013: Brazil edged Italy 3-2 on Sunday to claim their third consecutive FIVB World Grand Champions Cup gold medal and fourth overall, adding to recent wins in 2005, and 2009, and their inaugural title in 1999.

 

Brazil conceded a two-set lead, but raised their performance in the tiebreaker to win 25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 20-25, 15-11 in the first match of the last day’s action at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Wallace De Souza led Brazil with a match-high 28 points in the victory, which improved Brazil’s record to 4-1.

 

Although they lost the much-anticipated showdown with Russia on Saturday, Brazil stopped their rivals’ winning streak in major international competitions, which includes last year’s London Olympics and this year’s World League Finals in Argentina.

 

Brazil also completed a clean sweep of both the men’s and women’s Women’s Grand Champions Cups, as they did in 2005, following their compatriots’ victory in last week’s women’s tournament, also in Japan.

 

Brazil coach Bernardo Rezende said: “It was a rollercoaster of emotions for us after the loss to Russia. We came back 15 hours after losing and won today, which is amazing. There was great volleyball played today and I’m very happy we won the tournament. Wallace and Lucas played well for us. We have some new players in the team, but had good focus in the tournament.”

 

Russia, also the reigning European champions, had to be content with silver after beating USA 3-0 (29-27, 25-22, 25-19) on Sunday in their first Grand Champions Cup appearance,

 

Italy completed the podium for yet another bronze medal after finishing third at London 2012 as well as this year’s World League Finals in Mar del Plata. Italy won the inaugural edition of the Grand Champions Cup in 1993 and claimed bronze in 2005.

 

Two-time Asian champions Iran cruised past hosts Japan 3-0 (25-17, 25-18, 25-14) to finish fourth – one better than four years ago – and confirm their reputation as a fast-rising force. Hamzeh Zarini and Shahram Mahmoudi both scored 16 points for Iran, while Tatsuya Fukuzawa (nine points) and Kunihiro Shimizu (eight) top scored for Japan.

 

Iran coach Julio Velasco: “We created several problems for them with our serves. We blocked well and our setters were good. Our confidence was high for this match. It’s our first time to play in such a high-level tournament, so I’m very proud of our players. All of Iran is proud of them.”

 

The defeat consigned Japan to a winless campaign during which the hosts only won one set, in their opening match with USA in Kyoto.

 

Japan coach Gary Sato admitted his team were outclassed. “We ran into a buzzsaw,” he said. “Iran are playing very hot right now. They have been together for three years with a great coach and have kind of emerged under the radar. They are hungry, have good experience and played well.”

 

FIVB World Grand Champions Cup 2013, Kyoto & Tokyo, Japan

 

Final standing: 1. Brazil 2. Russia 3. Italy 4. Iran 5. USA 6. Japan

 

All-Star Team: MVP: Dmitriy Muserskiy (RUS); 1st Outside Spiker: Filippo Lanza (ITA); 2nd Outside Spiker: Dmitriy Ilinykh (RUS); Libero: Farhad Zarif (IRI); Opposite Spiker: Wallace De Souza (BRA); Setter: Bruno Rezende (BRA); 1st Middle Blocker: Maxwell Holt (USA); 2nd Middle Blocker: Emanuele Birarelli (ITA).

 

Top Scorer by Day

21 – Matthew Anderson of USA v Japan on 19-11-13

17 – Mohammad Mousavi of Iran v Italy, Jiri Kovar of Italy v Iran, Matthew Anderson of USA v Brazil on 20-11-13

27 – Matthew Anderson of USA v Italy on 22-11-13

25 – Matthew Anderson of USA v Iran on 23-11-13

28 – Wallace De Souza of Brazil v Italy on 24-11-13

 

Top Scoring Performances

28 – Wallace De Souza of Brazil v Italy on 24-11-13

27 – Matthew Anderson of USA v Italy on 22-11-13

27 – Ivan Zaytsev of Italy v Brazil on 24-11-13

22 – Filippo Lanza of Italy v USA on 22-11-13

21 – Dmitriy Ilinykh of Russia v Brazil on 23-11-13

21 – Lucas Saatkamp of Brazil v Italy on 24-11-13

20 – Dmitriy Muserskiy of Russia v Brazil on 23-11-13

 

Top Blocking Performances

8 – Maxwell Holt of USA v Japan on 19-11-13

8 – Mohammad Mousavi of Iran v Italy on 20-11-13

5 – Sidnei Dos Santos Jr. of Brazil v Iran on 19-11-13

5 – Emanuele Birarelli of Italy v Japan on 23-11-13 and v Brazil on 24-11-13

5 – Matteo Piano of Italy v USA on 22-11-13

5 – Dmitriy Ilinykh of Russia v USA on 24-11-13

 

Top Serving Performances

5 – Farhad Ghaemi of Iran v Italy on 20-11-13

5 – Lucas Saatkamp of Brazil v Russia on 23-11-13

4 – Michele Baranowicz of Italy v Brazil on 24-11-13

 

Top Team-Blocking Performances

17 – USA v Japan on 19-11-13

15 – Russia v Japan on 20-11-13 and v Brazil on 23-11-13

14 – Iran v Italy on 20-11-13

12 – Brazil v Iran on 19-11-13

12 – Italy v Japan on 23-11-13

 

Top Team-Serving Performances

9 – Italy v Iran on 20-11-13

9 – Brazil v Russia on 23-11-13

8 – Iran v Italy on 20-11-13

7 – Russia v Brazil on 23-11-13

5 – USA v Brazil on 20-11-13

 

Highest Scoring Sets

31-29 Brazil v USA (1st set) on 20-11-13

29-27 Russia v USA (1st set) on 24-11-13

28-26 Italy v Russia (1st set) on 19-11-13

28-26 USA v Italy (4th set) on 22-11-13

28-26 Iran v USA (1st set) on 23-11-13

 

Highest Scoring Matches

228 – Iran v USA (28-26, 19-25, 19-25, 27-25, 18-16) on 23-11-13

220 – USA v Italy (25-21, 20-25, 22-25, 28-26, 15-13) on 22-11-13

214 – Iran v Italy (26-24, 16-25, 25-23, 23-25, 15-12) on 20-11-13

213 – Brazil v Italy (25-22, 25-22, 23-25, 20-25, 15-11) on 24-11-13

204 – Russia v Brazil (20-25, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17, 15-9) on 23-11-13

 

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