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2009 FIVB Women's Grand Champions Cup
Tokyo - Fukuoka, Japan
10 - 15 November 2009

 Match info | Press Conference
It was tough playing Japan: Ze Roberto

Brazil Coach Ze Roberto

Today's game was tough for us, as we expected. I can see the structure of the Japan team has been improving, including their blocks, serves and counterattacks, so for us today's game was the toughest we've had recently. I think this game has contributed to the improvement of our team. Today, we had 23 block points and we overcame the Japanese team with our serving, so this was a plus point for us.

(Paula came in and changed the flow; why didn't the Brazil team play so well before this change?)

Paula injured her knee and returned to the court in August, so she's not in top condition now – perhaps 60 to 70 percent – and this competition is her first this year. Her condition is getting better and better, so I hope she'll play better from now. She was very good at counterattacking from high balls.

(What do you think of Japan No. 17 Yamaguchi?)

She's a very good player, especially attacking from combinations. The combination of three players – Araki, Inoue and Yamaguchi – was a very good combination, and I think this will work well for Japan. For us, it was difficult to block Araki, so I think she has been playing well recently.

Brazil No. 13 Sheilla Castro

We know the skill of the Japanese team has improved compared to our last match, so today's game was tough for us. We lost the first set and I think the concentration of the Japan team was good. We were able to get our second win in this Cup, but we still have to play South Korea, Italy and Thailand, so we still have to fight a lot more.

(Most of Brazil's players are tall; do you think any of Japan's shorter players are good?)

I think Kimura is a good player and has improved her skills. I like her style. And the setter, Takeshita, she's small but a very good setter and her combinations are very good.

Japan Coach Masayoshi Manabe

Today, we wanted to stop Brazil receiving by attacking from both sides. If it worked, we could have had a good match today. Also, we must work hard at our blocking and receiving. But we suffered a lot from Paula and Sheilla.

When we lost consecutive points, we couldn't make quick attacks because of our poor service reception. Also, our courtside attacks were halted by 190cm blockers. But playing against Brazil, the top team in the world, we learned a few things. The Brazilians could all attack with floater serves at our weak points. Regarding reception, we did well – maybe more than 95 percent – so on this point I'm very satisfied, but with other aspects we weren't so good. Also today, when Brazil had two players blocking and they were close to our players, we couldn't spike well or score easily. In the last six months we've been trying for a quick offense and today Kimura did really well, so we got a result from our six months of preparation.

For tomorrow against Thailand, it's a different type of team. We lost in the semifinals at the Asian Championship even though we won in the preliminaries, so we want to get revenge against Thailand. For that, we need not only strong spikes but also fewer missed balls. We will do our best.

Japan Captain Erika Araki

We should have won today's game. I am disappointed. We couldn't gain points and we made mistakes in the latter part of the game. We were a bit too casual, I think.

(Brazil's head coach said your play was good today; what do you think about that?)

I'm very glad to hear that because my club team played against his team in the Italian League, but I made many mistakes, so I think my performance still lacked something.

Japan No. 12 Saori Kimura

I feel frustrated at losing the game. We allowed Brazil to get successive points and our attacks were blocked from the middle of the match to the end. If we had played with more skill, we could have won.


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