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2009 FIVB Men's Grand Champions Cup
Osaka - Nagoya, Japan
18 - 23 November 2009

 Press Release
Brazil captures 27th South American title

Brazil's Giba prepares to uncork a blistering serve
Bogota, Colombia, August 21, 2009 — Another South American Men’s Volleyball Championship, another Brazilian victory.

Hot off their recent FIVB World League championship, the Green and Gold rolled over Argentina 3-1 (28-30, 25-17, 25-19 and 25-15) on Friday to win their 27th South American crown in 28 editions and book a spot in the Grand Champions Cup in Japan later this year. The only edition the mighty Brazilians didn’t win was back in 1964 — it was also the only edition they didn’t compete in.

The South American powerhouse won all six matches to finish with 12 points, one ahead of Argentina, whose only loss came on the final day. Venezuela finished in third with 10 points.

The Brazilian team entered the court with a single purpose: to add another title to their long list of accomplishments this year. But Argentina also had victory on their mind and played very well in the first set. Javier Weber’s team even outplayed their opponents in the first frame and won the set 30-28.

The WL champion returned in the second set with their A game. Showing more technical resources than Argentina, Brazil dominated the game from that point on a waltzed to victory by comfortably winning the next three sets.

“We started the match under pressure because everybody expected a Brazilian victory at the South American Championship,” said Brazilian head coach Bernardinho. “We made some mistakes in the first set, but the players played well after that. Our attacking and blocking were the highlights of our team. I’m happy for the title, for the place in the Grand Champions Cup, and also for the union of the players.” 

Having finished fifth in the 2009 FIVB World League, Argentina came into the South American Championship knowing they would have to beat Brazil to win the tournament. Weber said that his first goal was to finish in the Final Six of the World League. Having accomplished that, his next goal was to win a title.

Argentina put in some great performances in the South American Championship, but flopped against its archrival when it counted most.

“The game against Brazil was great and it closed a great championship,” Weber said. “I’m not happy because I wanted first place, but the Brazilian team played better than we did. They were more consistent throughout and they showed why they are the best in the world.”

The Venezuelan team started the South American Championship under pressure, as the team looked ahead to its 2010 World League qualifying matches from September 18-20 against a yet to be determined opponent. Venezuela finished in last place in the 2009 World League and now has to play what is essentially a two-match relegation-promotion battle against a qualifying challenger.

“I’m happy with our results,” said Venezuela head coach Jose Gutierrez.  “We were playing to finish first or second, but we lost to Argentina and Brazil. This South American Championship showed that in our continent we have three groups: Brazil, Argentina and Venezuela in the first, Colombia is in the second, because they showed they were better than the others, and finally Chile, Peru and Uruguay.”

The surprise of this competition, Colombian, finish fourth and showed great progress, helped in part to two powerful weapons: the home fans and the high altitude (2.640 meters above sea level).


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