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17/11/2013 12:00
Brazil clinches World Grand Champions Cup, Russia settles for fourth place
News from the FIVB

Tokyo, Japan, November 17, 2013. Olympic champions and World No. 1 Brazil won the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup on Sunday by defeating Japan 3-0 (29-27, 25-14, and 25-18) at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Brazil became the first team to win the title twice. They also won in 2005. Japan took the bronze medal, matching their performance in 2001.
The South American champions finished the tournament with a perfect 5-0 record for 15 points, while Japan dropped to 3-2 for nine points. USA took the silver with a 4-1 record and 10 points. It was Brazil’s fourth win against Japan in the Grand Champions Cup against one loss. Overall in FIVB tournaments, Brazil have a 48-12 win-loss record against Japan.  Fernanda Rodrigues was the top scorer for Brazil with 16 points, while Sheilla Castro had 14. Yuki Ishii was the only Japanese player to get into double figures with 12 points.  Brazil scored 17 blocking points to Japan’s two and five service points to Japan’s four. Japan committed 19 errors while Brazil had 11.  

Thailand beat Russia for the first time ever in an FIVB competition on Sunday, securing their first win of the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup on the final day of action at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. Thailand won the game 3-1 (18-25, 25-22, 25-21, and 25-23). In their 10 previous meetings, the Russians had won every match. The win saw Thailand raise their record to 1-4 for four points while Russia dropped to 1-4 and also finished the competition on four points. The result determined the bottom three places in the World Grand Champions Cup. The Dominican Republic finished sixth with three points, Thailand fifth with four points and Russia fourth, also with four points. Thailand’s Onuma Sittirak top-scored in the match with 26 points, while team captain Wilavan Apinyapong contributed 19. Russia were led by Natalia Malykh with 19 points. Thailand’s Pleumjit Thinkaow had a tournament-high seven blocking points. Both teams had 14 blocking points, while the Thais had five service points to Russia’s one. Russia committed 12 errors to Thailand’s 22.
Russia captain Ekaterina Pankova said: “First, congratulations to Thailand. They are a great team and their service was terrific today and they had great team play. I thought that they weren’t good at blocking but today they were great. We were a bit tired after the last three days and couldn’t play our normal game.”
Russia coach Iury Marichev commented: “Today was not a good match and we didn’t perform well as a team. We couldn’t do anything today. Now I have to think about what we are missing and try to improve and move forward.”  

The United States moved into the silver-medal position on the final day of the FIVB World Grand Champions Cup with a 3-1 (25-14, 25-16, 21-25, and 25-18) win over the Dominican Republic at Tokyo Metropolitan Gymnasium. The win saw USA finish the tournament with a 4-1 record for 10 points while the Dominicans dropped to 1-4 and ended their campaign on three points. It was the first time USA and the Dominican Republic had met in the World Grand Champions Cup. USA had a 12-2 record in FIVB events against the Dominicans going into the match. USA beat the Dominican Republic twice earlier this year – in the finals of the Pan American Cup and the NORCECA Championship. Lauren Paolini was the top scorer in the match with 19 points, while Kelly Murphy and Jordan Larson-Burbach had 16. Gina Mambru led the Dominican Republic with 17 points followed by Brayelin Martinez with 10. USA out-blocked their opponents 16-8 and out-aced the Dominican Republic 8-2. The Dominicans committed 21 errors to the Americans’ 20.  

Final standing  

1. Brazil
2. United States
3. Japan
4. Russia
5. Thailand
6. Dominican Republic  

All-Star Team: MVP: Fabiana Claudino (BRA), Setter: Hitomi Nakamichi (JPN), Opposite: Gina Mambru (DOM), Outside Hitters: Saori Sakoda (JPN), Onuma Sittirak (THA), Middle Blockers: Iuliia Morozova (RUS), Pleumjit Thinkaow (THA), Libero: Arisa Sato (JPN)

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