PRESS RELEASE 03.10.2004


South American Men's Junior Championship - Brazil the champion again

Santiago, Chile, October 3, 2004 - The Brazilian junior national team confirmed on Sunday its continental supremacy by defeating Argentina 3-1 (25-20, 20-25, 25-20, 26-24) in the final of the XVII South American Men's Junior Vollyeball Tournament, which took place in Santiago. In the bronze medal match, Venezuela beat Chile 3-0 (25-21,25-12, 25-17).

Over 3,000 people packed the Gimnasio Polideportivo de Ñuñoa to see the final. The green and yellow side had to use all its strength to overcome a tough Argentinean team, that fought till the end for the gold medal.

Brazil's road to the title began with a 25 minute triumph in the first set, thanks mainly to Thiago Alvez's unstoppable spikes.

Argentina fought back and leveled the score, making use of Rodrigo Quiroga and Martín Hernández, to snatch the first set off the current South American Champions in the competition.

The loss shook the Brazilians who went back into the third set determined to take the lead once again. Douglas, Danilo and Machado made the difference and the Brazilians were ahead again 2-1.

In the fourth set, Brazil managed to open a four-point difference at 21-17 before Argentina reduced the gap to a single point but those who expected a fifth set saw the Brazilians regain control and close the match in a thrilling finish.

"This is a very important title for us, because it reinforces the work we have been doing in the generations which will replace our senior teams," Brazilian coach Marcos Lerbach said. "Before the tournament started, we were very worried because we were not well prepared, but the team was totally dedicated and therefore rewarded.

Final Standings

1st Brazil

2nd Argentina

3rd Venezuela

4th Chile

5th Colombia

6th Paraguay

7th Peru

8th Equador

9th Bolivia

10th Uruguay

Best player : Thiago Alvez Brazil

Best blocker: Ezequiel Morgue Argentina

Best setter: Ignacio Bernasconi Argentina

Best attacker: Thiago Alvez Brazil

Best libero: Tiago Brenolle Brazil

Best serve: Thiago Alvez Brazil