August 04, 2003 - World champions Brazil, newly crowned as kings of the World League, took the first step toward another milestone after defeating Canada 3-0 (25-22, 25-21, 27-25) at the Pan American Games with captain Nalbert Bitencourt and big Rodrigo Santana at the helm.
In the first set a smash by Giba gave Brazil a four point lead at 23-19 but Canada responded with a spike from Sebastien Ruette, who was their best player in the whole match. Santana put Brazil one point away from from the set at 24-20 before Canada reacted again to make it 24-22 and then Santana sealed the first set with another big bomb.
In the second set Giba combined with Gustavo Endres and Andre Nascimento to give the favorites an easy set win before Canada picked up their game in the third. Ahead for most of the set Canada saw Brazil tie the match at 24-24 through the attack of Giba and Anderson Nascimento before Giba once again produced in the big time and gave his team the victory 27-25.
“We are the favorites in theory but still we have to go out and produce,” said Brazilian captain Nalbert. “We do not have any extra pressure because of that fact. Canada played very well, especially in defense overall. They played good Volleyball and we are still not in top shape.
”We just finished the World League and rested for a week, so now we are starting to get back in top condition and I hope that will be right in time for the semifinal phase,” he added.
Scott Koskie, the Canadian captain, said: “Brazil always take the best out of our game. Playing against them made us put in that extra effort.”
Canadian coach, Stelio DeRocco said: “I am very pleased with the way we played today and I hope this game can be a confidence builder for the next two games. In the last Pan American Games we won the bronze medal and I hope to do the same or better in Santo Domingo.”