Tokyo, Japan, December 1, 2007: Comments from the official FIVB press conference after the Brazil-Russia game on Saturday.
Head Coach Bernardo Rezende: The first of our goals was to control their serve. I think we did this well because they had just one ace. Regarding the Russian serve, this is a good result for us. We played with speed and combination – this is how we play. The most important thing is we played like a team, like the best of Brazil. At the critical moment that is when this group of men show their best, when it is needed. After we lost the first game, we needed to beat Bulgaria – a very strong team – and we did it, and today we had to survive against Russia and they did very well. That is the main characteristic of this group of athletes. We cannot relax right now. We have to have respect for the other teams and the fans. We have to do our best tomorrow.
Captain Giba: Last year at the World Championship Bernardo said the best came out of Brazil when we needed it, and today Brazil played very well. We were very concentrated. It was another final. To play against Russia is all the time very difficult because they are a very strong team and strong physically. This was another final, so congratulations to Brazil for playing very well today.
Dante: We played very well. One of the aims today was to defend the strong serve of Russia because we know they have a high quality service. We used many opportunities to defend their strong serve and we were able to get into our rhythm. We have a great team spirit and are united on court, and that led us to victory. Also we served and received very well.
Head Coach Vladimir Alekno: There is sometimes a match that even when you lose you can be satisfied with the content of the play, and I think that was the case today. The motivation was high. We know there was something lacking today, so this is a little disappointing. We would like to prepare for tomorrow’s match and still have high motivation. (On Russia’s 20 service faults and only one ace): It was the worst game for Russia regarding serve, but we know against Brazil we must have a very technical serve. Three years ago in the World League our floating serve worked well, but today there are many young players and their serve is affected by their mentality, so I do not think it worked well today.
Captain Vadim Khamuttskikh: As you can see it was not a bad game, but the result was due to the fact that we could not gain a point at the critical moment.
Semen Poltavskiy: For the first two sets we made a lot of mistakes on serve and also on reception and attack from the left side. From the third set we started to gain our confidence and calm ourselves down but again we were unable to beat Brazil. It is very disappointing.