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Brazil safely through to finals after Guerra inspires team to win over Poland

 
Melbourne, Australia, June 23, 2018 - Brazil booked their place in the finals of the men's FIVB Volleyball Nations League after Evandro Guerra and Eder Carbonera teamed up for 32 points in their team's 3-1 (25-22, 25-23, 23-25, 25-23) win against Poland on Saturday.

The reigning Olympic champions, Brazil avenged their loss to Poland in the 2014 world championship after a thrilling match between two of the sport's top heavyweights that lived up to all expectations at Melbourne's Hisense Arena.

Guerro was at his awesome best once he was introduced to the match in the second set after starting on the bench, accruing 19 spikes from 34 attempts to finish with a game-high 19 points, while Carbonera also shone bright, racking up 13 points from nine kills, three aces and a block.

Lucas Loh also finished with 13 while Mauricio Borges Silva (11) and Isac Santos (10) both made double figures and Wallace de Souza, Brazil's top scorer in the competition, got seven points.

Maciej Muzaj led Poland's challenge with 18 points, made up of 15 kills and three blocks, while Aleksander Sliwka chipped in with 12 and Mateusz Mika got 10.

With a place in the finals at stake, both teams produced their A games when it mattered, thrilling the crowd with their powerful shotmaking and desperate defense.

Both sides had won their Pool 17 games in straight-sets on Friday after losing their three previous matches and Saturday's clash was in the balance from start to finish.

Brazil took the opening set after a mega rally got them to set point then Carbonera climbed high above the net and made the kill.

In the second set, it was Guerra who delivered the decisive blow to give the South Americans a 2-0 lead.

Poland's blockers combined to win 13 points to Brazil's two in the match and their excellent defense paid off in the third set as the Eastern Europeans got their noses in front at the right time and forced a fourth, which Guerra fittingly sealed with another lethal spike.

With the win, Brazil improved to 10-4 in the competition and assured of a spot in the playoffs before their final pool match against Argentina on Sunday.

Poland fell to 9-5 but still with a strong chance of making the finals if they win their last game on Sunday against the Pool 17 hosts Australia.



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